Becta – so near to linking up Britain?

Is this the saviour of schools broadband?

hallaton village2

Are you interested in the sustainability of internet connectivity in your school? What could the opportunities be?

I recently saw a tweet by Jon Hunt – whose website shows him to be an Education Broadband Specilaist. Jon had done some research through Becta’s website and highlighted 3 recent papers. if you’d like much more thorough analysis of these items, then Jon’s site is worth a look.

Response to Digital Britain is a fairly short document and contains some great ideas, especially in relation to rural schools – a significant minority of remote rural schools remain simply too expensive to connect to NGA. Ironically, their very remoteness means they are the schools with potentially the most to gain from next generation broadband access.  The paper shows technical ways in which a school could provide links to the community. Is there a simpler way for schools to share the burden of the cost of broadband AND help the local community – like renting out space? Why can’t a village primary school provide a desk, internet and work space for a fee? Safeguarding is clearly an issue, but if there was ever a time for school leaders to think outside the box – surely it’s now. What do you think?

Next Generation Access is – by it’s nature a weighty document. This document shows – amongst other things ideas where schools broadband could be opened up to local users in rural communities. I’ve been discussing this idea with headteachers for a few years – ‘just thinking out loud’. No headteacher has dismissed it yet as ridiculous.

Looking Ahead was published after the announcement of Becta’s closure and is (not surprisingly) somewhat briefer!  This short document picks up on some powerful points education broadband is the only available broadband in some areas … A heavy reliance on significant (and ongoing) contribution from schools – is this sustainable? … Fragmentation risk – schools/authorities opting out of RBC-/authority-led provision ..


Becta going – so who does it cost?

And why should it?

I’ve just been reading a very interesting web posting on EducationInvestor. You can see the whole article here

The article starts by recapping an entry in the Times Education Supplement recently where Roger Larson – the man behind the Fronter Learning Platform voices his concern that UK schools may not continue to develop at the same rate. He also mentions that the use of learning platforms isn’t what it could be.

Read what you want in to Mr Larson’s comments. It’s the last sentence in the article in the EducationInvestor that should make the alarm bells go off.

But sources in the technology sector have told EducationInvestor that the cuts could require them to sell direct to school, and force them to raise their prices. “

So – are the sources saying ‘Dear Investors, we’re a good bet. When Becta goes we’re going to raise our prices and blame Becta for keeping the prices artificially low?’

Should suppliers raise their game rather than raise their prices? What do you think?

Next Steps for Becta

Dignified Exit? (From Becta today)

The priority for Becta is a well managed closure, which:

Read more of this post

After Becta then what?

Forewarned is forearmed

The news a few weeks ago regarding the planned closure of Becta was a shock to many.

If you’re reading this blog – then there’s a fair chance that you are interested in ICT in Primary Schools. there’s also a fair chance that you’re keen to know “What next?”.

There’s a business technique called “Weak Signal Monitoring” which I cover in this post in my business blog.

So here’s what a weak signal found recently


Their full report is here

Another thought on Becta Planned Closure

Here is a slightly more progressive take on the government’s plans to close Becta

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Alice Through the Looking Glass “… the grand narrative has lost its credibility, regardless of what mode of unification it uses, regardless of whether it is a speculative narrative or a narrative of emancipation.” Jean-François Lyotard After 14 years of service to education, the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) is being retired.  Becta was … Read More

via Coherence of the inchoate

Becta Self Review Framework (SRF) Revision

Simplified – but not simple.

To achieve the ICT mark shouldn’t be a simple exercise, and the work Becta has done looks to have removed a lot of the anomalies from the process.

The previous version of the ICT sometimes felt like one of those psychometric interview tests where you are asked the same question in a few different ways – these ‘nearly repetitions’ look like they’ve been removed.

Read more of this post

US Report on Internet Safety

“The best software is between the ears”

Many thanks to Ruth Hammond at BECTA for highlighting the release of the The Online Safety And Technology Working Group from the US of A

This is a mammoth report and covers a much wider range than many of the other reports I’ve seen. A few summary bullets are worth noting, and are in this MUCH shorter pdf

It’s been emotional (via TechnoStories)

It's been emotional There has been much discussion, on Twitter and other sites this week, about the new government’s decision to take action on quangos and close them down. One casualty of this has been Becta and, while I have heard arguments for and against this decision from a number of colleagues, I for one will be sad to see it go. Lots of people in work (and elsewhere) have asked me why and, at first, I couldn’t really put my finger on it. On reflection I can s … Read More

via TechnoStories

E Safety Suggestions from Becta

I recently asked Ruth Hammond for some quick summary information on safeguarding. This was a question being asked by a number of schools.

The links from her response are below. May I suggest in the light of yesterday’s news – if you find this page useful, please drop a thank you email to Ruth?

Becta’s key resources are linked in my signature below.


There are 2 other key sites that all teachers should be aware of:


Their resources portal can be found here:


Particularly – – you will see the particular resource for primary at:

There is also a matrix of resources available at: – although I hear that some of the links may be broken

We (Becta) also have a resource which is a bit old now so is available for download only but may also still be useful at:

With regard to the Becta publications I would ask that you simply post the link and not the resource to enable us to track our downloads and audience reach.

Hope that helps?


Ruth Hammond

Manager, Safeguarding Programmes Schools and Families

Keep informed – join Safetynet

Key resources free to order or download:

‘AUPs in context: Establishing safe and responsible online behaviours’


‘Safeguarding children online: Are you managing online risks well?’


Becta safeguarding site

Becta Closure

A very bad day at the office?


Following yesterday’s announcement of the closure of Becta, there have been a huge range of comments flying through forums, user groups, blogs and twitter feeds. 


A development from Becta which many local primary schools had taken on board was the next Generation Learning Charter and the ICT Mark. As news is available on the status of these items it will be summarised and posted here.

In addition, this blog  contains summaries and feeds from Becta’s safeguarding team.