Is the new government anti-technology in schools

29 Jun 2010

I'd welcome the views of teachers, heads, and other education experts on this topic for an article I am writing after the decision to axe Becta and to cut the Harnessing Technology Funding for schools.

 Contact me at

I'm happy to respect requests for anonymity.


User Comments

RS - 29 Jun 2010

Anti tech?

Difficult to see how they are not if rumoured raiding of broadband budget to pay for free schools is true.

alexander findlay - 29 Jun 2010


I don't think that the government really understand IT. The last time this government were in power, technology in schools was still very crude and I'm not sure that government has grasped that fact that technology really forms a huge part of education and school life.
Anti-technology, I'm not so sure, but certainly ignorant of the impact that cutting the Harnessing Technology Funding will have, if there is no other funds to replace that particular grant.

margaret morrissey - 29 Jun 2010

Spending cuts IT

Trouble is we have got to cut somewhere and its just never going to be the right thing but it is going to have to happen of no education service

Chris Meade - 30 Jun 2010

I'm not sure either Govt. really got/gets how things are turning inside out so that we increasingly have better technology in our homes and hands than in our institutions. The issue is less about kit and IT support, more about helping teachers to help students explore the profound changes in how we receive and interact with our culture in the digital age. Cut culture might just help focus minds on the ideas beyond the gear.. but am not hopeful. And of course the kit - and especially fast broadband - is crucial.

David - 30 Jun 2010

Tech cuts a mistake, as tech can deliver savings

There is definitely a strong argument that could be made for this government being against technology in the classroom.

I suspect this isn't driven by any kind of philosophy, but instead a desire (and need) to cut back those programmes which will have the least impact on teaching and learning.

Ironically however, investment in technology has the potential, probably more than savings in any other areas, to contribute to the 25% cuts over the next 4 years. John Stone wrote an interesting piece on this on ePolitix last week:

Chris Scarth - 30 Jun 2010

ICT in Education

As a supplier of ICT to Education, we are concerned not in the overly anti stance of the new Government but by the lack of guidance and growing void in communication.
Removing quango's is one thing but I believe there needs to be a clear review of who/ what would be providing the role that they once did. Say what you like about BECTA - it is indisputable that they have driven ICT forward in certain areas (whiteboards/ procurement frameworks/VLEs/ Laptop for Teachers/ Broadband etc).
My own experience as a supplier would be without clear guidance many teachers and schools will flounder with ICT (despite being much more switched on than 5 years ago), they still need support and clear aims to move forward.
I fear for a 2 tiered sector of schools - those with switched on individuals that keep driving ICT forward and those looking for guidance and support to help them move forward- currently I don't see the support for them forthcoming. ICT strategy is important and leaving schools to decide on this individually (as seems to be at the moment) would be a step back in my opinion.
In short, I would not say the Government is anti ICT – although taking money from the Harnessing Technology Grant would suggest that it does not hold it as a priority. Rather than being anti – I would say so far the government has been apathetic towards ICT, sooner or later this will rub off on the schools. I sincerely hope that we see some clear direction and guidance soon.
Chris Scarth
Classroom Monitor –

Tom Welch - 30 Jun 2010

Is Govt anti technology in schools?

I think it is too early to say. Having been a teacher for a number of years and now running a company that provides IT support to Primary schools it is clear to see how much investment has been made over the past decade.

Personally I think that this investment has had a hugely positive impact, but that investment cannot just stop. For example many of our schools now have interactive whiteboards which teachers have used to great effect. However I often see terribly poor projection onto these boards and children squinting to read what is on the screen. This cannot be right and schools have to have money in their budgets to replace these projectors every 4 years or so.

As well as these essential items schools must keep getting the funding to keep with the times. The time is right now to be discussing whether a school really needs a locally based server anymore or whether everything should be held in the “cloud.” At the moment that is a non-starter for the vast majority of primary schools due to the slow broadband speed coming into the school. If it is right that the harnessing technology funding which was going to go towards faster broadband is being scrapped for new schools, then this is major backwards step and will hold school’s up for some time to come.

Tom Welch

Turn IT On

Tony Ryan - 30 Jun 2010

Govt anti ICT?

Anti ICT? Certainly. Anti progress ? Again exactly right! This new government, if we must call it that, has so far demonstrated a woeful lack of interest to the point of total disengagement with learning and digital technologies. Abolishing BECTa, QCDA, new ICT rich primary curriculum? How much more evidence do you need? Our whole progress in education ICT, BSF etc, fields in which we once led the developed world, will be set back 20 years by this lot.

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