BETT 2009 logoSpecial needs association Nasen will be running an information point at Bett 2009 to help teachers and advisers make the best use of the £10m-a-year training fund for Sencos (special educational needs co-ordinators) announced last July.

From September Sencos have to be qualified teachers and those already in post have until 2011 to become suitably qualified. The money will allow current Sencos to undertake new, nationally-accredited training and a further £12m has been earmarked for trainee and qualified teachers.

In addition Nasen will put a team of experts in the firing line at its daily "Ask the ICT expert about Inclusion and supporting SEN" sessions, between 3.00 and 4.00pm.

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BETT stand number SN64

BETT 2009 logoJust like businesses, schools need to keep tabs on their equipment and software and ensure licences are kept up to date. According to Parago, the solution is in its specifically designed software asset management system for education.

By using the web-based system to create a virtual model of the school to show exactly where equipment is located staff can keep track of their assets even if they are on loan at home. And with system alerts, missing software licence expiry dates can be a thing of the past.

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Bett stand number F90
Check an earlier visit to Parago by Les Watson

ED-E the robotED-E the RM robotBy Maureen McTaggart

He might not have the agility of the Citroën transformer robots of TV advertising fame, but steady ED-E, RM's new device for teaching robotics, can really dance (check out the video).

RM wants to step up its performance with innovation - watch out for announcements about a new "creative" brand - and ED-E is one of its new developments. He is a handsome enough fellow and, while the hips are not exactly snakelike, his break-dancing routines aren’t half bad. And if he gets fed up of helping children (7+) with the principles of physics, mathematics, biology and engineering - what he's designed to do - advertising beckons.

Mark ChambersMark Chambers: crucial to 'maintain a robust and forward thinking team'

Companies need deep pockets to work on Building Schools for the Future (BSF) projects, but it certainly provides some insulation against recession. Schools ICT supplier Ramesys, which claims 25 per cent of the BSF/academies market, will run a recruitment drive at the BETT 2009 show at Olympia, London, next week.

"It is crucial that we continue to maintain a robust and forward thinking team to help us reach our goals," says Ramesys chief executive Mark Chambers (pictured).

The company's priority is programme and project managers but it is also interested in "educational professionals to champion the use of ICT and engage and train school staff at all levels". Ramesys will have recruiters at the show on Thursday January 15.

Ramesys BETT stand H30

Experience in UK managed ICT services and Building Schools for the Future appears to have helped schools supplier RM to extend its business activities abroad. Computrac, a US company the RM Group acquired in November 2007, has just won a $32 million contract to supply interactive technology in 114 schools in Georgia’s Cobb County School District, the second largest school district in the state.

“It’s great news to be announcing Computrac’s first major win since they became part of the RM Group,” said RM chief executive Terry Sweeney. “Cobb County School District was already a significant customer and we’re delighted that they’ve chosen to continue working with us – it’s a clear endorsement of Computrac’s products and services.”