Becta issues first IT spending guidance for schools

The government’s education IT agency Becta has published guidance document for schools and local authorities on how to make effective use of IT grant funding.

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The government’s education IT agency Becta has published guidance document for schools and local authorities on how to make effective use of IT grant funding.

The funding guidance is the first of its kind to be issued by Becta rather than the Department for Education and Skills.

The document sets out the details of the five types of grant funding available to support IT in schools and provides advice on how to use them.

Becta chief executive Stephen Crowne said: "The fact that we are issuing this guidance for the first time reflects Becta's extended role in leading the educational community in applying and embedding new technology in learning, teaching and institutional improvement.

"There is greater funding available for ICT than ever before. It is therefore important that schools consider the grants as a whole and decide how they can be used to achieve their individual priorities, and help meet the Government's priorities for education.”

The guidance is set out in the context of the government's e-strategy delivery plan and Becta's role in leading and co-ordinating it. It emphasises that ICT spending should be seen as a driver to help achieve e-strategy and wider government objectives.

It also highlights Becta’s procurement framework. Both the DfES and Becta have been criticised in an Early Day Motion signed by 130 MPs, which claims their “outdated purchasing frameworks are effectively denying schools the option of benefiting from both free and open source software”.

But the guidance document makes no mention of open source.

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