From education to employment

Leading education groups call on government for ICT assurances after Becta

Fourteen leading education organisations are calling for assurances that ICT will still be given a high priority following the decision to scrap Becta, the government body.

Becta was an early victim of the government’s ‘bonfire of the quangos’, aimed to cut waste and help plug the UK’s deficit.

A letter sent to Schools Secretary Michael Gove by NAACE, the charity representing organisations with an interest in technology in education, states: “The success of the country depends on the long term strength of the economy and for this fluency in ICT matters as much as does competence in English and Mathematics.

“In short, a digitally literate and digitally creative workforce is of vital importance to every citizen, and achieving this demands an entitlement to the best possible use of ICT in education – by learner, by schools, colleges and institutions, and by educational leaders.”

Seb Schmoller, chief executive of the Association for Learning Technology, one of the letter’s signatories, said: “Wise deployment of ICT in schools and colleges is important for effective management and for the efficient and inspiring teaching and learning that are central to economic recovery and to the nation’s long-term prospects.

“Tuesday’s budget cuts, following the closure of Becta and other quangos, show that the government is in the process of withdrawing the state from a large range of activities that it now appears to want to leave to the professions, other ‘ground up’ organisations, and to the market.

“ALT counsels caution against total withdrawal by government, for the reasons outlined in the Naace vision, which we endorse. We urge government to now work with membership organisations such as ALT and Naace to retain a strong and agile involvement in the overall field of technology in learning.”

Jason Rainbow

Related Articles