THE image of children scribbling in their notebooks for their homework may soon be confined to history books.

Two secondary schools in Oxfordshire could become the first in the county to use iPads and handheld devices to make lessons more interactive.

The iPads will be linked to a wireless network enabling students to carry a high-tech device between lessons and home to work on projects.

It could see students recording sports lessons to analyse techniques and allow several pupils to work on the same document from home.

King Alfred’s Academy in Wantage took its final plan to parents this week and St Birinus School in Didcot has agreed its scheme and will introduce devices next month.

King Alfred’s Executive headteacher Simon Spiers said: “What I think we have put together is a really exciting plan to enhance the teaching and learning in the classroom, making learning exciting and relevant for the 21st century.”

The school has been planning the project, with parents, for two years, has already installed the wireless network and has been trialling iPads in classrooms for a year.

All 100 members of staff have had iPad Minis over the past six months.

The scheme will see the school buy iPads for all year 7 students to begin with – costing £90,000 – which will then be sold to parents, interest free.

Students on the Pupil Premium will receive them for free and a hardship pot will allow parents to apply for discounts on the £320 devices.

Mr Spiers said it was “not compulsory” for parents to buy the devices and students without their own device would be able to borrow one – but not take them home.

Parents were asked their thoughts on the scheme on Monday and Tuesday night.

If the majority agree before the end of this month, students will receive devices before the end of the school term.

Mr Spiers said, if the project goes ahead, iPads could eventually be given to all students.

But one parent wrote anonymously to the Oxford Mail to “strongly object” that they were being asked to foot the bill without a “proper” debate.

Parents association chairwoman Pippa Goodfellow said: “As a parent, I am supportive of it because I think in this day and age it is the way forward for education.”

At St Birinus, students will receive their devices next month.

The school plans to buy iPad Minis for younger students, iPads and handheld devices, including laptops, for older students and MacBook Airs for media students.

Parents will have to buy the devices back but St Birinus will give free devices to Pupil Premium students and there will be a hardship fund.

The school has set aside a budget of more than £1m for the entire project, including buying the devices and installing the network.

One of the deputy headteachers, Jim Fuller, said: “We feel, for a school to be providing modern education relevant to students we have to keep up with what the modern university and workplace looks like – it is about preparing them for the real world.”