Teachers To Be Replaced By Computers

A school is planning to replace teachers with computers for some day-to-day lessons.

One of England's biggest academy chains - Ark Schools - wants to set up a new 'blended learning' model, which will see children taught over the internet for large chunks of the day.

According to the Times Education Supplement, 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.

Charter schools in the US have already tried and tested similar radical schemes with some success.

The 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 that computers had allowed his organisation to 'really rethink the school day'.

He said: "We have fewer teachers than a traditional school serving the same number of students."

Apparently by slashing the number of staff, the school can plough the savings into the remaining teachers' salaries -therefore better teachers.

Mr Smith said this allowed him to pay teachers up to 50 per cent more than nearby schools.

Ark has said it hopes that by using computers it will 'increase the reach of great teachers'.

Documents given to the TES reveal how Ark believes the new model will allow teachers' roles to be 'revised'.

Teachers in the new computer schools could also be responsible for 'leading small group instruction' or the 'supervision of online learning'.