Some of you I know are following what seems to be a developing 'campaign' with the DfE (or at least a good opportunity to open some dialogue with them).
After a short 'holiday' I was prompted to get cracking with something so I have written a very short email to Austen at the Technology Policy Unit introducing myself and seeing whether we can open a line of conversation. Obviously if I get anything back I will blog it.
In the meantime I have begun to think about what policies or issues should be brought up if I am able to begin a dialogue with the members of the Technology Policy Unit. This may be a good way of being able to frame discussion and measure progress. This list should be a short one as I think it would be a wise idea to avoid the political version of development-hell which would therefore be 'campaign-creep'
This therefore is my list of issues so far:
- ICT to be incorporated in a future DfE method for measuring schools (future ebaccs basically)
- ICT skills to be re-incorporated into required skills for Teachers
- In light of DfE comments about more autonomy for schools I feel they should be pushed into acknowledging that they need to educate schools in being autonomous and therefore when it comes to issues like usage of technology and information services online schools should be made aware of the fact that they can now push forward with the usage of this technology (eg YouTube)
That should be it for now
After the mention of the technology policy unit in a letter I received from the DfE recently (read further back on the blog) I thought it might be a good idea to investigate who or what they were. Since the demise of Becta the DfE has not been showing much leadership in this area and this unit seems to be operating under the radar. I have been offered a meeting with a member of this unit (which unfortunately doesn’t acronym as well as the CIA … but is just as secret ) and I think before taking this meeting up (which I hope to encourage some others to join) I think it might be a good idea to find out a little bit about who they are especially if they are in charge of defining the future role of technology in education. This blog post is therefore a summation of links and findings about them.
Members of the Unit:
Vanessa Pittard linkedin profile http://linkd.in/pEov9Y
Head of Technology Policy Unit, DfE
Vanessa is Head of the Technology Policy Unit at the Department for Education which has responsibility for the development of technology in schools policy in the context of the Department’s priorities for education. Prior to her role in the Department, Vanessa was Director of e-Strategy at Becta, building Becta’s strategic role and leading its work on research, evaluation and innovation. Before joining the government sector in 2002, Vanessa had a career as an academic, leading the Department of Communication Studies at Sheffield Hallam University and researching in the areas of technology and literacy. (from
Mentioned in letter: Austen Okonweze
So not much information so far – there is no information I can find on the DfE website but then again there aren’t any other policy units mentioned on the site. I am considering some further ideas about how to take this forward. (comments always welcome)