May 24 2010
Bye Bye BECTA Baby Goodbye
So today following the latest announcement from our new coalition government we saw the final nail in BECTA’s coffin. I believe its fate was sealed as soon as Cameron wandered into number 10 a few weeks ago, with him threatening to axe all quango’s even a year ago. As I watched the press conference live on Sky news and followed all the tweets and on the #Becta stream I felt a little bit sad.
It seems looking at the tweets and comments left on news sites that quite a few people are glad they are going, but there are also lots of people out there who are not including those who work there and that will be sad to see it go. Another surprise was that for the foreseeable future the QCDA was saved although it looked likely to go.
If you are still catching up with all this then check out the following stories below these are perhaps the more comprehensive and interesting ones:
http://bit.ly/9U2a5M – Press Association
http://bit.ly/ayXNWa – The official line from Becta
http://www.teachers.tv/news/59511 – A good account from Teachers TV who also face cuts
So many people have a short memory with regards to Becta… I am still new, well ish to teaching this is my 7th year and when I first started I benefited from laptops for teachers which came from Becta, I then also benefited from their push to put in interactive whiteboards etc, so I know firsthand that they have done things that had a positive impact on teachers, schools and their students. For example by having things like this the experience of my students in lessons have improved and brought them many exciting opportunities. Perhaps those moaning what did Becta ever do for me? Are the same teachers who sit and whinge in the staff room about everything and anything because they haven’t got anything else better to do.
When you look at everything Becta have done, and more importantly what they haven’t done? You could ask the question were they really given the power to make any big and sustained changes or did they have their hands tied?
Once again I know of schools that have benefited through working with towards the ICT mark, they have been supported with their own self evaluation… but what will happen to all those currently going through it? What about all the other projects and research currently underway, what will happen to that? So many questions!
And finally on a personal point of view my students have benefited first hand from the likes of Becta, I won the South West’s first Next Generation Learning Teaching Award sponsored by them – my students are proud of this, they have also carried out action research such as using web 2.0 tools, engaging parents and other things that have involved them publishing their work or presenting at conferences – these sorts of personal experiences they will never forget. In June we are supposed to be being visited by Becta judges for the ICT in Excellence Award but who knows what will happen to that now…
The biggest loser probably in the long run will be education and our youngsters as this ultimately these are cuts to education although not directly to schools as the government has promised to not cut schools directly. However all these quango’s all focused on trying to improve education – I would be happier if they were removing them and giving this money direct to schools but I am sure that they aren’t so ultimately we will miss out and lose more in the end.
Ultimately whether you have a good word to say about these quango’s like Becta the bottom line is who will advise us now? Who will lead the latest push in new technologies? Many people on twitter has said we can ourselves – however I think we all still need support in doing this. What do you think about all of this? If you are looking at these sorts of posts about BECTA then please check out this one – http://bit.ly/cXt1As it is by @iusher and is probably the best one I have read! Not one of us involved in education should be celebrating like some idiots are, people have lost their jobs and could now really struggle as a result of this – Thank you to Becta and any of the other organisations who may go for all the good that you have done – the next generation of kids do appreciate it.