19 Oct 2011

Scheme to enhance IT teaching gets a £2.5million boost

Vital Professional Development, a programme to enhance the teaching of IT and Computing, and to help teachers use IT more effectively in other subjects, has been awarded £2.5 million by the Department for Education. This will enable Vital to extend its outreach to staff in state funded 5-19 education in England. The funding, extending the £5.6 million received by Vital in July 2009, supports a new In-house Professional Development Partnership which includes subject specific web-portals to help teachers use IT more effectively across the curriculum.

The new professional development programme is a school-based initiative supporting a teacher in each partner school to become a “Vital Professional”, who is supported in designing flexible staff development using resources from Vital. Subject specific web-portals identify high quality teaching resources and advise on how to use them effectively in teaching, as well as providing opportunities for discussion and sharing between practitioners.

Dr Peter Twining, Vital Director and Senior Lecturer at The Open University, said: “I’m very excited about the enhancements to the website and our new In-house Professional Development Partnership. These will enable us to work more closely with schools to support them in developing high quality, cost effective, sustainable and targeted staff development that is responsive to their needs in these challenging times.”

Matt Lovegrove from Sonning Common Primary School in Reading is one of thousands of teachers who has participated in and benefited from the Vital programme. He said: “Vital has provided me with a network of teachers interested in the development of ICT within education and with a wide variety of excellent resources. Through sponsoring and hosting professional development events, such as TeachMeets, Vital helps bring IT innovation into classrooms and provides teachers with the support that they require to become innovative themselves.”

Vital, run by The Open University, supports teachers and other practitioners in making even better use of ICT in their teaching. It is delivered with e-skills UK, the sector skills council for IT. Since it launched at BETT in January 2010, Vital has engaged with educators and schools worldwide to create an active community in the real world and online with over 7,200 registered users of

Vital is supported by a network of regional teams who organise events and activities across the UK, such as “TeachMeets”, conferences and web conferences to reach out to educators, local authority staff and education professionals. Free 30 day subject portal trials are available to teachers from the website - To get in touch with the regional team or for any other enquiries please contact or telephone 07770 825900.


About Vital
The Vital Professional Development is delivered by The Open University and part-funded by the Department for Education. It aims to support practitioners in sharing their expertise and so enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Vital provides inspiring ideas for learners, materials that can be used in the classroom, and opportunities to share expertise with peers.

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