HC Deb 16 October 2002 vol 390 c876W
Mr. Lazarowicz

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made on the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency Quinquennial Review. [75392]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

In line with Cabinet Office guidance, the review is being carried out in two stages. I am now in a position to make an announcement about the outcome of Stage 1 and the basis on which work will be taken forward on Stage 2

The Government has today published the report "Quinquennial Review of the British Educational and Communications Technology Agency (Becta)—Stage 1 October 2002", copies of which have been placed in the Library.

The report underlines Becta's key role in working with the Department for Education and Skills to ensure that schools and colleges take full advantage of every opportunity to exploit the transformational impact of ICT. The work they do is vital in ensuring that schools and colleges are provided with the best possible advice on a range of ICT issues from procuring value for money equipment to managing websites and, most importantly, ensuring that ICT is embedded in every aspect of teaching and learning.

Many of the recommendations made in the report have already been acted upon by both Becta and the DfES and have been reflected in Becta's Corporate Plan, 2002–05. It provides valuable pointers on the direction in which Becta should be moving. Stage two of the Review will take forward the issues in this report. It will concentrate on the future of Becta, providing greater emphasis on looking at how services and functions could be provided more effectively.

I am looking forward to continuing to work with Becta on our challenging objectives on ICT in schools and ensure that pupils leave education with the ICT skills necessary for the modern workplace.