Feeds

School data not good enough

The public sector gravy train steams on

Educational computer systems in Britain face a radical overhaul in order to improve authorities' intelligence about the children in their care.

Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Education & Skills, gave a hint of the enormity of the task during a speech at the education technology trade show, BETT, in London today.

Data held about school children must be brought up to the "highest standard", she said, so that it could be shared with other government departments, parents and teachers.

"We intend to establish governance arrangements which will bring together the key partners across the children and learning sectors to tackle this issue system-wide," she said.

Behind the scenes, the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, a quango, has been entrusted with much of the strategic direction behind this and related technological schemes in education.

The Department for Education & Skills wants schools to share data about children with police and social services. But many school systems are not up to scratch. Becta will accordingly be pushing for schools to overhaul their management information systems. These will be linked into learning environments, as well as the systems of external agencies.

The department also intends to fold pupils' data back into the system to tailor learning provision to their individual needs.

This is all going to take a lot of money, not least because bringing school data up to scratch is going to depend on the completion of a number of other schemes being co-ordinated at Becta.

As it happens, every one of the key policy areas being tackled by Becta for the DfES (infrastructure, data, learning, connectivity) will have some bearing on the validity of data held in education.

Not surprisingly, said a source at Becta, improving the quality of data in education is going to be a "mammoth task".

In 2005, the quango began setting up procurement frameworks to govern suppliers who do the work in these areas. The most significant framework agreements, which will govern the detail of Kelly's plans, are still on the drawing board.

Frameworks for infrastructure services, learning services and MIS systems will be decided this year, even as Becta and the DfES are pushing for schools to get on with upgrading their systems in these areas. ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.