Press Release - November 3, 2006



A MERSEYSIDE school which was the first to take part in a pioneering new learning system has had its role recognised with a new commemorative plaque. 

Woodchurch Road Primary School in Birkenhead was the first in the world to use a state-of-the-art online scheme designed to make learning fun when it trialled the system three years ago.

Since then - and with the help of Business Link for Greater Merseyside and the International Trade Centre For Greater Merseyside (ITC) - Edge Lane based Taecanet have launched the system across the globe, with users in China, the Czech Republic and America as well as throughout the UK.

Now the firm has returned to the school to unveil a special plaque marking its place in history. 

Head of school effectiveness for Wirral, Marie Stacey, joined acting headteacher Ann Maher and Paul Ellison of Environmental Waste Controls - which has funded the school's Taecanet subscription for the coming year - to unveil the plaque at a special ceremony.

" Woodchurch Road Primary School is recognised across the Wirral as being innovative, creative and forward-thinking," said Mrs Stacey.

"Their role in the development of this fascinating new system is clearly in keeping with that tradition."

Taecanet founder Ian Nairn added: "It is a real pleasure to be back at Woodchurch Road Primary School to recognise the unique contribution the school made to the development of our service."

An engineer by profession, Ian devised the online service to guide students through their work using thousands of individual "learning journeys". 

In doing so, it allows students to safely learn and interact with pupils in other schools - particularly useful for rural schools - while allowing teachers to share knowledge and experience with each other as well. 

The service also means that students can learn at their own pace, allowing teachers to give more focused attention to those students needing it.

As part of the system's development, pupils at Woodchurch Road were the first in the world to undertake the first 'e-learning journey' in Key Stage 2 Science in 2003.

Since then, and with the help of Business Link, the company has relocated to Liverpool and been introduced to Merseyside Special Investment Fund and Liverpool Digital, which is part of the city's John Moores University.

Mr Nairn has also taken part in a trade mission to Shanghai - which helped him land new business there - and in UK Trade and Investment's Passport to Export scheme delivered by The International Trade Centre For Greater Merseyside - which helped the firm secure business in Prague and America. 

The system is now being used by 100,000 students and teachers worldwide, while early results have shown that the system can help boost SATs test results by more than 40 per cent.

International Trade Advisor at the ITC , Rachel Davenport, added: "Using the UK Trade and Investment's key personnel at British embassies and consulates, we at the International Trade Centre can help local enterprises to make new contacts and find companies to do business with around the world. 

"Being able to do that successfully for Taecanet has given us a great deal of satisfaction , and provided a real boost to business for him.

"While looking forward to seeing his business go from strength to strength by exporting further and further afield, it is nice to see Ian return to where it all began to recognise the school's input to their success."

For more information, please call Chris Marritt at Mason Media on 0151 707 4514 or 07908 214950.