Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Closure of the DfE Technology Policy Unit- good news or bad?

The DfE have announced the closure of the Technology Policy Unit which was a very small remnant of Becta in the DfE but had been at the heart of the recent DfE renaissance in the role of new technology in our schools.


Read more about the news here




Some will see this, as Merlin's article portrays, as a backward step when the educational community felt new technology was firmly back on the agenda. I can't agree with that position. We must take Michael Gove at his word  when he said at BETT "we will not prescribe"..."we will encourage, support, disseminate"... So it is to be expected that the leadership will be happening from within the system and Teaching Schools will be at the fore.


This is good news for Teaching Schools and their newly formed New Technology Advisory Board. Whilst we are sympathetic to colleagues who face yet more uncertainty over their own jobs the ‘system’ must seize the opportunity here. This school led system reform is exactly what the Teaching Schools and their New Tech Board is aiming to achieve in partnership with all the relevant strategic partners.


The Board should not be perceived, as some might suggest, as a pressure group. The fact is it was formed with new Teaching Schools at the core who have passed not only rigorous applications to be put in the position to lead on school reform but specifically passed a bidding process to become national lead teaching schools for new technology means now it’s time has come to effect change.


I am assured Teaching Schools will hear about the funding which Gove announced at BETT to support new technology work 'In the new financial year' which could mean an announcement before Easter, which would be good news.