DfES tech chief quits

Move 'in line with strategy', dept says

The director of technology at the Department for Education and Skills is leaving the civil service.

The DfES confirmed to GC News that Michael Stevenson is leaving the civil service. He has been in the position for less than a year.

The department said the move was in line with its review of its technology strategy in response to Gus O'Donnell's Capability Review. The review emphasised that the DfES needs to work more closely with its partners, including schools and colleges, to deliver the technology changes.

A DfES spokesperson told GC News that the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) will take forward the "critical delivery work" with children's centres, schools, colleges and universities.

"Increasingly, the task for the department will be to strengthen and assure underpinning IT systems," the spokesperson said.

"Although this is an important new direction, it is not something that Michael felt able to commit himself to for the three years it will need. He is therefore leaving the civil service to pursue other opportunities."

Becta, along with The Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc), is expected to push forward the e-strategy Harnessing Technology. The two organisations will also take the lead in advising on technology aspects of the department's policies.

A decision on the appointment of a new chief information officer is likely to be made in the autumn.

Ruth Kennedy, associate director at public sector IT specialist Kable, commented: "The changes suggest there is potentially new urgency to implement technology, with Jisc and Becta pushing it through. But the department still needs strategic technology input at board level. The clout of a new CIO will be crucial."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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