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A survey conducted by OCR shows teachers facing tight budgets welcome the offer of free A Level eBooks from next September to help with their students’ studies.

Responses from over 1500 schools and colleges revealed that over 90% of teachers thought free resources for A Level students would help with their students’ studies while over 75% thought that the withdrawal of the EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) would affect students’ ability to buy textbooks.

Awarding body OCR has joined up with Oxford University Press (OUP) and Hodder Education to provide free e-versions of AS and A2 publications, starting from September 2011. The offer from OCR, a not for profit organisation, is available to all schools and colleges teaching A Levels and covers broad areas of the curriculum. It’s the first time that free eBooks from major publishers have been made available via an awarding body.

Teachers have welcomed the money-saving move, as well as the benefits of new technology:

“I think the scheme is great, it would save schools and learners a fortune.” Clive West, Head of Science, Hall Green School, Birmingham.

“This sounds wonderful - a real gap in what we offer our students.” John Stokes, Head of Science, Gordano School, Bristol.

“This sounds great! It is something that I have considered and could make portability of equipment more efficient for some students. I look forward to my OCR eBook for History.” Jon Kempton, Langley School, Norwich.

“We would use eBooks and online resources if available in the 3 sciences, as this not only targets our development of e-learning, but can count towards our striving to be green.” Kay Thomas, Ashlawn School, Rugby.

The free eBooks will be available in a wide range of subjects including Maths, English, Languages, History, RE, Physics, Law, PE, Business Studies, ICT, Psychology and many more.

Mark Dawe, OCR Chief Executive said: “This partnership between OCR, Hodder and OUP gives A Level teachers and their students access to free high-quality eBooks which can be used in the classroom or at home. These resources can be used flexibly to suit personal teaching and learning styles. After the September launch, we’ll be working closely with our partners, schools and colleges to see how we can expand and improve this offer in future years.“

Commenting on the scheme, David Igoe, Sixth Form Colleges Forum Chief Executive said: “By working together, OCR and the publishers have shown their understanding of the needs of teachers and students, particularly in challenging economic times.”

Further details of the scheme and demos of the eBooks are available at www.ocr.org.uk/ebooks.

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Notes to editors:

1. For all enquiries about this press release, please contact OCR’s Sophie White at sophie.white@ocr.org.uk, 01223 552767 or Simon Trollope at simon.trollope@ocr.org.uk on 02476 856155.

2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): www.ocr.org.uk/eBooks

3. About OCR – www.ocr.org.uk

OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA) is a leading UK awarding body, providing a wide range of qualifications to meet the needs of learners of all ages and abilities. OCR qualifications include AS/A Levels, GCSEs, OCR Nationals, Key Skills, Entry Level qualifications, and vocational qualifications, including Apprenticeships, in areas such as IT, business, languages, teaching/training, administration and secretarial skills.

Each year more than three million students gain OCR qualifications, which are offered by 13,000 centres including schools, sixth form colleges, FE colleges, training providers, voluntary organisations, local authorities, and businesses ranging from SMEs to multi-national organisations.
OCR is part of the Cambridge Assessment Group.

4. About OUP – www.oup.co.uk/education

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. OUP is the world's largest university press with the widest global presence. It currently publishes more than 6,000 new publications a year, has offices in around fifty countries, and employs some 5,000 people worldwide. It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing programme that includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, bibles, music, school and college textbooks, children's books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and reference books, and academic journals.

5. About Hodder Education – www.hoddereducation.co.uk

Hodder Education is part of Hachette UK, the UK's largest and most diverse publishing company. Hodder Education provides solutions and services to schools and colleges via print and digital resources as well as through teacher CPD and student revision workshops. Additionally we provide on and offline resources for Higher Education, Health Sciences and the self learning markets. Our aim is to support the education market by providing exactly what it needs; ensuring we are innovative, progressive and practical.

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