§ Mr. Woodall
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will provide information on the current uses of computers within his Department and plans for their further introduction and extension.
§ Sir Keith Joseph
Computers are used in the Department to provide services required for the administration of the teachers superannuation scheme, the processing and analysis of statistical surveys, departmental accounts and sundry administrative and policy support activities. These facilities are provided by an ICL 1906A, shortly to be replaced by an ICL 2966, computer in Darlington. Terminals connected to this machine, and a small number of microcomputers are used by professional and administrative staff in both London and Darlington. Limited use is also made of commercial bureaux for facilities which are not immediately available on the Department's computers.
An ICL ME29 is being used to investigate the effectiveness of separate small computer-based terminal facilities for the teachers superannuation scheme.
Significant use is also made of computer-based word processors and electronic typewriters. It is anticipated that the use of such equipment will increase.
Prospects for the further cost-effective use of computers are being examined.