The government is making noises to suggest it will improve support and guidance around how technology should be used in schools.
Since education ICT agency Becta closed in 2010, the government has taken a lower-touch approach to advising schools how to spend their budgets on technology.
However, the Department of Education has conducted three stakeholder meetings with representatives of the education community in recent weeks, suggesting schools will once again be given guidance on how to spend on ICT.
Technology in education expert, Merlin John, told CRN the education minister, Justine Greening, feels such guidance for schools should be a priority and has tasked senior civil servant Emran Mian with the job.
"Emran is a smart guy, well-respected and his message to people who went to the final stakeholder meeting was that it is time to take action," said John. "The political leadership is now in tune with the civil service leadership and they know it needs to be done."
John said that for the past seven years the government has provided "appalling leadership" around guiding schools on how to spend on technology.
"There were issues with the government's own agency, Becta, which was overly bureaucratic, but that does not mean there was no place for an agency that could give good independent advice to schools. There could be room for an independent agency again," said John.
Dave Smith, computer and online safety adviser at Havering Education Services, said more government involvement could prove to be a good initiative.
"What the governemnt should be doing is helping schools put a strategy in place where technology improves education," he said.
"Since the demise of Becta, schools have been looking for the best sources of information to show them which technology works in the classroom and what has an impact on how students learn. There has been a void there previous."
Andrew Hopton, managing director of VeryPC said it would be deeply beneficial if there was some best practice and guidance from the government to support schools.
"It would also be good to have funding to support training and knowledge for how teachers can use any technology.
"Your typical reseller is not catering for that; they might just be reacting to a customer demand, rather than engaging with schools and understanding what the problems are. That's the difference between a classic reseller and a solution provider," added Hopton.
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