Becta’s budget to be slashed by £40m


The Schools Secretary Ed Balls has revealed that Becta will have its budget cut by £40m because it has been so successful.  Balls was speaking to Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 about his department’s work to create efficiency savings.

When asked about the Becta cut, Balls said Becta was a great example: “If you went back to 1997 we didn’t really have computers in schools, we weren’t using IT properly.  “Becta’s job was to get that IT into schools, and that’s what they’ve done. It was a huge and radical change, and I’m saying to Becta we need to carry on doing some of that, and to sell that technology round the world, but we don’t need the scale, now we’ve succeeded.”

All good spin of course,  but everyone knows that  recent reports have identified Becta as a prime  target  for culling,  in any bonfire of quangos that might follow an election, so  the thinking goes that significantly reducing its budget may make it less of a target, if only life were so simple. We are now in a different ball game where transparency and accountability to the poor bloody  taxpayer matters. One things for sure it knows that it is under threat and very much  in the frame.

One thought on “BECTA FOR CULLING?

  1. On one hand I feel sorry for BECTA when it is named as a ‘quango to go’ as there are parts of it that are very effective. I agree to say that it is being cut because it is successful is just a spin. The reality is that it costs too much and achieves too little and now needs to be ‘right sized’ for the budgets of the future. It is essentially a research and procurement assistance organisation and with little procurement and little need for research for a couple of years then it needs to quickly assess what value it can bring to new circumstances. It could for example support Open Source adoption or the widespread use of digital resources funded by Public funding instead of encouraging schools to buy commercially. These are things that save money – the procurement frameworks it prides itself on are tools to support the spending of money and if there is none to spend then we don’t need an organisation that is still trying to do that.

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