§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement of progress on the introduction of information technologies to facilitate internal communications in his Department and the provision of information to the public concerning280W those areas for which he is responsible; and if he has any further plans to apply the newest technologies in these fields.
§ Mr. Butcher
Under the Department's office systems strategy, 600 staff in London—roughly half—are being provided with PCs, attached to a local area network. Most of these are now in place, and we are considering extending the provision. Consideration is also being given to making similar arrangements in the Department's other site, in Darlington, and to connecting the two networks.
The Department also has in place a communications strategy for Her Majesty's inspectorate of schools, under which all 450 inspectors in the field will be provided with the means of electronic communication with each other, and also with the centre.
The Department does not at present provide electronic information services to the public.