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Government guidelines make IT key to teaching

The government made changes to the remit for the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) last year as...

The government made changes to the remit for the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) last year as part of its drive to improve the use of IT in schools.

The agency's focus shifted from being a mainly delivery-centred organisation to becoming a "strategic partner" with the government to develop the education value of IT.

"IT should be embedded in all our education institutions and in the teaching that takes place," said education and skills secretary Charles Clarke.

"As the government's lead agency for IT in schools and the learning and skills sector, Becta has a critical role in ensuring IT is a key element in education in these areas."

One of Becta's roles is to ensure technology is rolled out across the education sector in a standardised format. For example, it is working with the UK Education and Research Networking Association, the Regional Broadband Consortia and the DfES to ensure that the broadband services schools will require can be delivered over the National Education Network.

As of December 2003, 49% of schools in England (41% of primary schools and 98% of secondary schools) had broadband connections.

In addition, Becta's National Learning Network materials team has launched guidelines on e-learning, giving suppliers and developers of e-learning materials a framework to work within.

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