Apple's share of the UK education sector climbed to 8.5 per cent from 6.4 per cent year-on-year in the quarter ended October 2003.

The company has attracted many converts in the UK's education industry, attracted by the ease of use and innovative nature of its software.

Apple has also done a great job of making itself and its products synonymous with digital video in education, many education industry insiders told Macworld yesterday. This has generated a wave of major Mac deployments here, as UK educators seek best practice in harnessing new technologies in the classroom.

Richard Millwood of East Anglia University's respected research and technology arm Ultralab told Macworld how Apple technologies can be harnessed in the classroom: "Using these technologies opens opportunities for kids who are otherwise disenfranchised by traditional classroom teaching strategies.

"Using technologies that engage today's children has a major impact on attendance, concentration and results. We are looking at ways to assess performance using these technologies this year."

The continued relevance of Apple's technologies is exemplified in an announcement from Rickmansworth School yesterday, when the school opened its new Music Technology Suite.

The Suite employs 30 top-of-the range eMacs and 30 Korg Midi Synthesizers. Each Mac has Steinberg Cubase and iMovie and can copy and rewrite CDs.

This installation also features an interactive whiteboard connected to the teacher's Mac. The two-room recording studio contains a Power Mac G5 with SuperDrive, music production packages and a mixing desk.

School students are "very excited about this new area of learning and really enjoy their time in the new suite", said school press officer Judith Rackley.

The school is running clubs for short film-making and songwriting. Illustrated is school head of drama Dominic Curtis showing some year seven pupils how to create and edit a video.