Regional Directors Meeting
From left: Robert Chantry-Price (Manchester), Ray Leigh (N.Yorks),
Mike Doran(front) (Capital), Roger Edwardson (Northern)
Keith Morrison (South East), David Want (Eastern), Shirley Evans
Peter Avis (front) (S. Yorks), Ian Glen (West Midlands)
Bill Tagg (Chiltern) Peter Nicholls (hidden) (E.Midlands) Lionel Taylor (Wales)
Following Richard Fothergill's development of a regional strategy the Council for Educational Technology was tasked with working the 100+ local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to create a small set of regions.
This was no easy task. Local Authorities were not always amenable to being lumped together but much due to CET's Clive Neville's patience 14 regions were formed: although it is rumoured he managed to set up the dates of the numerous steering groups to coincide with the best of regional opera performances.
Some groupings were obvious: Wales, Northern Ireland, but in other areas natural geographic groupings competed with developing educational and computing connections. For a long time into the life of the MEP Programme, Derbyshire was both part of the South Yorkshire and Humberside Region and the East Midlands Region.
Each region was given a grant to support a small team - usually a Director, an Information Officer, and an administrator, together with a number of full-time or part-time trainers in the different domains, plus a small amount of curriculum development money. My recollection is that in total it added up to about £120K.
The Director was answerable to a steering committee made up of local authority representatives with a CET observer attending, but also was part of a regional directors group which worked with the MEP national team to deliver the overall programme.
MEP established fourteen centres throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland to provide information and training
Director - Roger Edwardson
North and West Yorkshire
Director: Ray Leigh
Greater Mancester & Lancashire
Dir: Robert Chantry-Price
Merseyside and Cheshire
Director: Shirley Evans
Director: Max. Bramer/Peter Nicholls
South Yorkshire & Humberside
Director: Peter Avis
Four Dwellings School
Director: Ian Glen
Director: Lionel Taylor
Chelmer Institute of HE
Director: David Want
Director: Bill Tagg
Kennington Computer Centre
Director: Michael Doran
Robert May Middle School
Director: Peter Neate/Keith Morrison
Director: Richard Margetts
These centres were meant to be linked together by a word-processor data link, Data Recall's Diamond - but it never really worked as an electronic network. The centres were a series of points of access to information about materials for teaching and learning, knowledge about technological developments and details of MEP project work, but also often acted as in-service training centres .
Teacher training activities also took part in each of the fourteen regions for the four domains: electronics and control technology, the computer as an instrument, computer-based learning and electronic
The regions also supported the production of curriculum development materials for schools in these
four domains largely by projects which are initiated via application to the chairman of the steering committee in each region.
All the regions were different. Some like the Chiltern region were based on existing centres (AUCBE) whilst others were 'new-builds'. South Yorkshire and Humberside was a new-build, bringing together the local authorities of Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Humberside and, for a time the north half of Derbyshire. Its base was originally at the Beechfield Teachers Centre in the middle of Doncaster, but within about a year it move to take over a wing of Kingfisher Primary School to the north of Doncaster.
South Yorkshire and Humberside MEP
and RESOURCE Software centre
Peter Avis was appointed Director in 1981 with Andrew Parry as Information officer and Anne Swainston as administrator. Four teacher training coordinators were also appointed:
Andrew Hopkins for the Electronics and Control Technology Domain
Roger Broadie for Computer Based Learning Domain
Peter Auchterlounie for Computer Domain
Brian Grommett for the Communication and Information Systems Domain.
Their task was to run courses in their different areas - the target for the region was to reach at leasr 2400 TCDUs per year - a TCDU was one teacher trained for one day.
Keith Anderson - Droom, Ian Birnbaum FIND,
Resource Annual Report
At the end of MEP the five local authorities agreed to continue funding RESOURCE as well as supporting it as a software development and publishing centre.
It continued growing and expanding, running the annual RESOURCE conference at the Doncaster Race Course Conference Centre every November. It also supported a team of seven regional advisory teachers under the ESG scheme.
Bostock M., 1981, MEP..., IEE London: HMSO
NCET, 1969a, Computers for Education, Working Paper 1, London: National Council for Educational Technology
NCET, 1969b, Computer Based Learning Systems, Report of a feasibilty study, London: National Council for Educational Technology
NCET, 1969c, Computer Based Learning , A Programme for Action, London: National Council for Educational Technology
Annett J. and Duke J.,1970, Proceedings of a Seminar on Computer Based Learning Systems, London:NCET
Hooper R., 1977, Editorial Introduction, British Journal of Educational Technology, 8-3 p164
Hubbard G., 1980, The Business of Educational Development, British Journal of Educational Technology, 11-3 p156
HMSO, 1972, Central Arrangements for promoting Educational Technology in the United Kingdom, London:HMSO