HC Deb 09 May 1973 vol 856 cc130-1W
Sir Gilbert Longden

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made by the School Timetabling Applications Group in developing a system which would enable school timetables to be prepared by computer.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

The results of trials in 1972 of a method developed by Nor-Data Software Limited of Trondheim, Norway, were considered sufficiently promising to justify extending trials in the summer of 1973 to 55 schools in the United Kingdom. Ten local education authorities in England and one Scottish education authority are collaborating and helping to meet the cost. Other sponsors are the Local Government Operational Research Unit, the Royal Institute of Public Administration and the National Council for Educational Technology.

The development work calls for close collaboration with school staff concerned with timetabling, and courses have been arranged for them in the formulation of requirements and instructions for the computer. The project is still at a trial stage.