Gerald Haigh welcomes a new online service for 14-19, Capita's Partnership Xchange

Changes to the 14-19 curriculum – not least the arrival of the new diplomas – mean that schools and colleges can only provide the full spectrum of choice for their students if they band together in consortia or “collaboratives”. Each institution works to its strengths, and students travel to find the courses they need.

Jim Knight MPSchools Minister Jim Knight: "savings"

The Government appears on course to slash staff recruitment advertising costs for schools. It will preview the new online Schools Recruitment Service at the Bett 2009 educational technology show at Olympia, London, in January.

The three partners who will run the service are expected to be announced at the end of January. A shortlist of more that 10 tenders has already been drawn up, and it is thought that the organisation that has dominated school recruitment in recent years, The Times Educational Supplement, is not on that list.

If successful, the service looks set to make major savings for schools. And schools and local authorities appear to be ready for a move away from expensive commercial outfits to a tailored not-for-profit scheme. Hundreds of them have already expressed an interest. Early adopters for the service, which will be free for the first six months, can sign up on its website (address below).

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Kings Norton students 1A partnership between Birmingham City Council, Birmingham e-Learning Foundation, the National e-Learning Foundation and education ICT suppliers, including RM, has equipped more than 18,000 students at 62 secondary schools around the city with mobile computers for anytime, anywhere learning. Around 5,000 of them, who don't have internet access at home, are being provided with wireless connections. (Picture shows Kings Norton High School students with their new HP netbooks purchased through Digital Birmingham)