Computers to teach kids, remaining staff paid more

Comment on this story

A new flagship “free school” planned to replace teachers with computers for some day-to-day lessons, the Times Education Supplement revealed yesterday.

England’s Ark Schools wants a “blended learning” model, where children will be taught over the internet for much of the day.

The new “e-school” will be known as the Ark Pioneer Academy and is due to open in London from September 2016 as part of the government’s free schools scheme, the teaching journal said.

Charter schools in the US, which inspired Education Secretary Michael Gove’s free schools programme, have already tried and tested similar radical schemes with some success.

One called Rocketship pioneered the model and now operates nine schools in Milwaukee and San Jose, teaching 5 000 pupils who spend a quarter of their school day online.

Rocketship chief executive Preston Smith said: “We have fewer teachers than a traditional school serving the same number of students.” By slashing the number of staff, the school can plough the savings into the remaining teachers’ salaries – and therefore better teachers.

This allowed Smith to pay teachers 50 percent more than other nearby schools. He wanted teachers earning more than $100 000 (R1.1 million) “as quickly as possible”. – Daily Mail

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines