From education to employment

Agency Welcomes Stephen Crowe to the World of FE

Following the retirement of Owen Lynch, the British Education and Communications Technology Agency (BECTA) has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Stephen Crowne.

BECTA is the Government’s key partner for Information Communications Technology (ICT) in education. Its main role is to provide strategic development and delivery of information and communication technology (ICT) and e-learning strategies for schools and the learning and skills sector. It is a UK agency which supports all four UK education departments in their strategic ICT developments.

Hope’s Hope?

The Skills Minister, Phil Hope MP, welcomed the appointment, saying: “I am pleased to announce that Stephen Crowne will be the new Chief Executive of BECTA. Stephen comes with a wealth of experience in the education sector having held senior positions within the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and partner agencies. He will play a key role in driving forward the use of technology by learners of all ages.”

Mr. Crowne has been Director of School Resources in DfES since November 2002. In that role he was responsible for school capital and recurrent funding, school organisation, admissions and governance. Before that he was Director of Operations in the Standards and Effectiveness Unit (SEU) in the DfES. The SEU played a key role in designing and implementing the Government’s strategy to raise standards in schools.

His previous senior DfES posts covered a range of responsibilities within the SEU, special educational needs for pupils in schools, and 16-19 policy. He was also Principal Private Secretary to successive Secretaries of State – Kenneth Baker, John McGregor, and Kenneth Clarke. He spent nearly four years as the first Chief Executive of the Further Education Development Agency, a Government-funded body which provided research and development services for further education colleges.

Crowne-ing Achievement?

Mr. Crowne is delighted with his new position, saying: “I am delighted to be taking on this important leadership role in education. BECTA has a vital job to do. We need to capture the full potential of powerful modern technologies to improve teaching and learning, promote and support high quality personalised provision for all learners, and ensure that the system becomes more effective and efficient. I look forward to working with the Government and a very wide range of partners to achieve these goals.” He is 48 years old, and married with three children.

Regarding this new appointment, Andrew Pinder, the Chair of BECTA, said: “This appointment is excellent news for BECTA and the wider educational community. Stephen has a wealth of experience and skills that are highly relevant to BECTA’s critical role in the delivery of the Governments education plans and its e-strategy for education. The effective use of technology is vital to the future of education not for its own sake but for the benefits it can bring to teachers and learners. I look forward to working with Stephen to ensure BECTA plays its key role in bringing the benefits of technology to support improvements in education.”

Sudakshina Mukherjee

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