The ELAMP Initiatives
The E-Learning and Mobility Project (e-lamp) began in 2003 and ended in July 2010
The ‘E-Learning and Mobility Project’ (ELAMP) was focused on the use of ICT to provide enhanced independent and distance learning support for Traveller children. The primary focus of the various developments was the challenge of interrupted learning.
The ELAMP initiative itself started with a research exercise coordinated by NATT+ and funded by the Nuffield Foundation in 2003-04. This looked at ways of using ICT to bridge the gap between schools and mobile pupils and was followed by a series of pilot projects involving local TES and funded by the DCSF until 2009-10. The initial pilots focused on providing ICT-enhanced distance learning and support for pupils who travelled away from their winter base-school, with the internet allowing pupils to keep in contact with school and to exchange work.
In 2006 the project took on another challenge; exploring the use of ICT to re-engage secondary age Traveller pupils who had left school or were on the fringes of schooling. This work was targeted on Key Stage 4, with local TES staff acting as a bridge to draw these, often disaffected, youngsters back into a framework where they could make a fresh start with education as well as exploring relevant vocational options. Learners who joined the scheme were provided with laptops and internet access and part of their learning centred on the use of a specially designed virtual learning environment (VLE).
From 2006, the original (distance learning) work became referred to as ‘Strand A’ of ELAMP, whilst the re-engagement work became referred to as ‘Strand B.
From 2008, the work of Strand A was also broadened to begin to gain experience of supporting Traveller pupils whose families weren’t mobile but were felt to be likely to benefit from having computers and internet access at home in order to improve their schoolwork. This decision was taken as part of the run up to the then government’s ‘Home Access’ programme which was subsequently launched in January, 2010 and was intended to promote the home-use of ICT by all school-age children in years 3 to 9; with grant funding for those from families with a low income.