Becta Closure

I don’t often comment on political matters, but this needed saying.

Closing Becta will potentially be a retrograde step for thousands of schools, and thus hundreds of thousands of children.

If the very good work that Becta currently undertakes is not replaced by something equally capable and focussed on the benefit of schools and colleges, then we will have lost a very great deal of expertise and will leave schools and colleges wide open to problems. This means children may suffer as a result… and learning will certainly suffer. We have come so very far in the world of education in the last ten years, and to send us back in time would be immensely upsetting.

If the work of Becta is to be taken back to the Department and then continued under a different guise so be it, but I’m not sure what effective savings there are in doing this. If £80M can be recovered by closing Becta, then less can be recovered by moving it elsewhere and continuing what it is doing.

There are other equally hard messages from the Treasury today, and whilst I agree with the need to make savings on some of the ridiculous stuff (like travel and expenses), I’m not entirely clear what positive impact there will be on a £156Bn deficit by making a £6Bn recovery in the current financial year… it seems like a small amount overall. I guess savings need to start somewhere, and every journey starts with the first step.

2 thoughts on “Becta Closure

  • 24 May, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Well said!

    Someone will have to do the work that Becta does – what saving?

  • 24 May, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Of course maybe no-one will do the work that Becta does? What then?
    Take the single issue of procurement.I go into around 50 schools a year. In most of them the technology pretty much works and is fit for purpose. What contribution have Becta’s strategies on procurement played in bringing about this situation? If we consider some of the well-publicised IT disasters in other public sector services (e.g. NHS), we should maybe be asking this question: How many billions has Becta saved schools in supporting them to purchase IT systems that work?

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