Schools Minister Catherine Ashton today welcomed figures published by the DfES (Department for Education and Skills) which showed there are more computers in schools than ever before.

In primary schools there is a computer for every 9.7 pupils compared to one for every 17.6 pupils in 1998, while in secondary schools there is a computer for every six pupils as opposed to every 8.7 in 1998.

"This is yet more evidence of the positive effect government investment in ICT is having in our schools. With more computers in classrooms than ever before and almost all schools online, pupils across the country now have access to the latest state-of-the-art equipment and educational material," said Ashton.

The figures showed average school spending on ICT of £31,500, an increase of £22,100 since 1998.

Computers and the internet are also being put to good use from a teaching point of view. Since April 1999 240,000 teachers have completed IT training courses.

The National Curriculum online, a resource for parents and teachers, has been updated, and a significant boost to the number of visitors is expected over the next couple of weeks in the run up to the new school year.

"This is a fantastic resource for teachers to keep up with changes to the curriculum and receive tips and input from other teachers," said a spokesman at the DfES.

A new section to the site allows visitors to access pupils' work and case study material to show how the curriculum looks in practice and to view the standard of work across different ages.

"Access to ICT is important for teaching, learning, administration and management. We have already provided in excess of 50,000 PCs or laptops in the last two years — over 27,000 laptops in the last three months alone through the government's Laptops for Teachers scheme," added Ashton.

Research published by the DfES in February of last year found a conclusive link between good results and better ICT resources.