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Teachers, Analysts & IT Professionals Agree that Becta is Needed

Monday 17th January 2011

The Becta website will close on 31 January 2011, marking the final closure of the government body specialising in IT advice and guidance for schools and colleges, however Computing UK reports that over the past week, teachers, analysts, IT professionals and government bodies have all said, independently, that the government’s decision to scrap education IT procurement body Becta was a mistake.

At a recent roundtable hosted by Netgear, the networking solutions company, attendees with an interest in educational IT procurement complained about the abolition of Becta as part of the government’s move to get rid of its quangos. This opinion is supported by a report by the Public Administration Select Committee in which one official says that the abolition of the ICT education agency seems to have been based on "no evidence whatsoever".

"Schools need guidance from people who understand IT and its role in education rather than teachers who have been drafted into the council to fill that role," said Duncan Fitz-Gibbons, governor at a Cheshire primary school and founder and owner of One And All, an SMB-orientated IT services organisation.

Jon Collins, independent IT analyst and parent governor at Cirencester Deer Park School, said: "Becta used to advise on issues like this but now the organisation has been canned."

Many schools need guidance and expert advice in what kind of computer systems to purchase for their schools whether it is hardware or software, and standardization in IT systems across schools cannot be ignored.


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