Q & As


The idea of one email for each pupil in the UK has a number of roots. A weight of research evidence from projects in Ultralab and elsewhere confirms that an individual mail identity was essential if learning (rather than teaching!) was to be successful and delightful across the Internet:

Learning in the New Millennium   
Ultralab's long term research project with Nortel (1993 -continues) confirmed that individual identities matter...

The Stevenson Report Information and Communication Technology in UK Schools made one email per child (and per teacher) a key action for UK Government policy (see the summary of actions recommended, or the extract below) and was adopted by Blair's incoming Labour government...

The policy spread - the EU's SchoolNet Conference paper debated by a group of Education Ministers from around Europe included the call for individuals to have their own identity...

Which leads us to the present with a broad concensus that some form of value added identity matters and a clear view that the UK needs something that is THE service rather than A service. It is hard not to see a project of this significance as being millennial and the coincidence of timing as the 3rd Millennium approaches is fortuitous but sets some timing imperatives for the project too.


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Extract from The Stevenson Report Information and Communication Technology in UK Schools

This initiative will work most effectively if each teacher and child, say from age 9, in the UK is given their own e-mail identity this will make the process of communication (eg. a request for information from an expert) much more direct and, therefore, appealing it will give each person the ability to access the Internet wherever and whenever.

We recommend that, as a first step, no school student should pass into secondary education without being allocated a unique e-mail identity. Work will be needed on naming conventions; and as the initial (inevitable) problems are resolved, it will be urgent that this extends into the junior school sector too.

Nothing could more clearly illustrate that each and every child in our school system has a role to play and a contribution to make to the information age. The cost of establishing or buying the equipment and financing the relatively small number of people to make this possible will be de minimis when set against the huge benefit of doing it.