According to the government CIO’s annual report, IT spend in education is around £850 million with around £25m on internal IT systems.

In the last year the DfES established a Chief Information Officer Group to “provide leadership and direction for technology, information and knowledge resources that support business strategies for the department’s and user benefits. The diverse brief includes the transformational government agenda, knowledge management and management of the department’s internal IT.”

Then CIO Kevin McLean appointed three deputy director commands, Alan Cranston, information strategy and knowledge management; Colin Moore, assurance and business development; and Ian Adkin, delivery of internal IT services.

It is estimated that ICT assets in schools are worth around £3.7 billion and the department is negotiating central framework procurement contracts for items such as laptops and electronic whiteboards.
The department says all schools achieved broadband access in 2006. Becta, the department’s key delivery partner for IT in schools and other educational establishments, set up a website to advise on best procurement practice (www.ictadvice.org.uk).

Becta itself commissioned a report, which is due this year, on the use of emerging technologies in education such as; learning networks in practice; how to teach with technology; games in education; and ubiquitous computing.