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British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) 1998-2011

Formation - People - Reports and Plans - Timeline - Major Projects


Work in Progress - Needs completing.

becta building

Becta Building


Becta was formed in 1997 by the renaming and reshaping of NCET to become the British Educational Communication Technology Agency. This followed a review by Dennis Stevenson who advised government (Kim Howells was the Minister responsible at the time) that this was needed. The restructure of NCET led to a reduction of about half of the staff and recruitment of new people. It also led to a closer control by, and closer working with the Department (The DES at the time) particularly on the development of the National Grid for Learning (NGfL).







NCET People











Heather Du Quesnay
-March 2001

As Chair of NCET, Heather Du Quesnay continued as Chair of the newly renamed Becta. At this time she was Education Director? for Lambeth. when she was appointed as Chief Executive of the National College of School Leadership she resigned her post as Chairman of Becta.

heather du quesnay

John Taylor (interim)
April 2001-

John Taylor was Principal and Chief Executive, Sheffield College. He served as a Board member and filled in as interim Chair on Heather Du Quesnay's resignation.

john tsylor

David Hargreaves

  david hargreaves

John Roberts (interim)

John Roberts was a long standing Board member of Becta from ... to .... and served a short term as interim Chairman from .... to ..... Previously he was Chief Executive of the Post Office from 1995 until 2002.

john roberts

Andrew Pinder

Andrew Pinder was Chairman of Becta's Board from ... until ..... Prior to this he was the UK's E-Envoy between October 2000 and August 2004. Before becoming E-envoy, Andrew was a civil servant in the Inland Revenue for 18 years then moved to Prudential, then to Citibank.

andrew pinder
Graham Badman

Graham Badman was Managing Director of the Children, Families and Education Directorate for Kent County Council. He was appointed by the Secretary of State to the Board of Becta in April 2006 and to the position of Chair in May 2009.

graham badman

Chief Executives

Owen Lynch

Owen Lynch was appointed as Chief Executive of Becta

owen lynch

Stephen Crowne


stephen crowne


Senior Management Team members


Fred Daly   fred daly
Peter Avis    
Pat Hunt    
John Brown    
Angela McFarlane    
Niel McLean   niel mclean
Stephen Lucey   Stephen Lucey
Richard Pietrasik    
Christine Vincent    
Nicola Newman    
Vanessa Pittard    
Dave Hassell    
Tony Richardson   tony richardson
Dave Hassell    
Jane Williams   jane williams
Alan Cowie   alan cowie
Ian Adams    
Terry Piggot    













Remits, Corporate Plans and Annual Reports



1998 Remit Corporate Plan Annual Report
1999 Remit Corporate Plan Annual Report
2000 Remit Corporate Plan Annual Report
2001 Remit Corporate Plan Annual Report
2002 Remit Corporate Plan - Business Plan Annual Report
2003 Remit Corporate Plan Annual Report
2004 Priorities Corporate Plan Annual Report (version)
2005 Remit Corporate Plan Annual Report
2006 Priorities Corporate Plan Annual Report
2007 Remit Corporate Plan Annual Report
2008 Remit Business Plan Annual Report
2009 Remit Business Plan Annual Report
2010 Remit Business Plan Annual Report
2011     Annual Report






Formation of Becta is announced at BETT






(April) John Taylor appointed interim chair as Heather Du Quesnay resigns because of her appointment as Chief Execuitve of the NCSL.

Membership of the Board at 1 April was: John Taylor, (Interim Chair) Principal and Chief Executive, Sheffield College; Professor Lesley Anne Beddie, Director of Communications, Scottish Parliament; Lorna Cocking, Publishing Director, Addison Wesley Longman; Dr Paul Kelley Headteacher, Monkseaton Community High School; Tom McMullan Director, CLASSROOM 2000 Project, Ashfield Boys High School, Belfast; Sheila Penny, Headteacher, Ladybrook Primary School, Stockport; Lord Puttnam of Queensgate; Chairman, General Teaching Council and Chairman, NESTA; Professor David Reynolds, Professor of Leadership & School Effectiveness, University of Exeter; Peter Weston, ICT Adviser, Flintshire County Council
















(May) Graham Badman becomes Chairman, replacing Andrew Pinder.


Closure of Becta is announced. An extraordinary Board meetingin the Board take the decision that .. Closure Project set up.

Many developing countries have looked to Becta as a general touchstone for leading thought and practice related to the use of ICTs in education.This is especially the case with regard to the research and  huge number of influential publications that have been put out by Becta over the years, which are widely consumed and cited by academics, government officials and consultants active around the world in planning and implementing ICT-related initiatives in formal education systems. Michael Trucano World Bank (2010, p81)

Government regulations require a 60 day period of consultation with unions and others. Board appoints Rob as legal adviser.

Considerable discussions with Department on TUPE regulations.


Continuing numbers of Becta staff find other jobs or move on to retirement. A number move to other governmental positions through TUPE with the DfE, at Partnership for Schools and LSIS. Web site archived with the National Archives and pubished documents provided to other bodies to disseminate as they wish. Research housed with the Institute of Education. Dugald Sandeman

quotel would like to take the opportunity, at this, the final meeting of the Becta Board, to extend my personal thanks for the work that Becta has led in the field of Information and Communications Technology in education since its inception in 1998. The valuable role that Becta has played is a result of the hard work and commitment of the Chair and the Board of Trustees; the Chief Executive and his senior leadership team - and of each and every member of staff. The professionalism shown in bringing the organisation to a timely and successful closure has been notable and is a reflection of your dedication.
Michael Gove (2011) in letter to Becta Board

Final Board meeting was held on...and received a final letter from Michael Gove thanking it for the successful and speedy closure of Becta and for the work .

The last Becta staff left in June/July. Leaving behind the Technology Unit with Vanessa Pittard but with the rest of the building occupied now by CAFCASS - the Childrens ...








Major Projects



Communications Aid Project (CAP)


Harnessing Technology Strategy


National Education Network


Home Access


National Strategic Technologies programme for education

Development of a national vision for ICT in education to provide technology that works first time, every time for everyone, where ever and when ever they need it. Engaged a broad stakeholder community of school leaders, local authority advisors and the ICT supply industry in developing and owning that vision. Recruited the Technical Design Authority team which defined the national functional, technical and operational standards. These standards offered a blueprint for school decision making, helping them to specify their requirement, avoid costly mistakes and ensure that suppliers offered solutions that truly met their needs. Influenced an ICT spend by institutions of £1.6 billion per annum. (Stephen Lucey)

National ICT procurement strategy for education

Created and delivered the ICT procurement strategy for education establishing cost effective and quality assured purchasing for institutional ICT infrastructure, broadband services, learning platforms, educational learning resources, management information systems and the operational management of ICT services. Achieved OGC recognised cash savings in excess of £264 million in ICT products and services.

Management Information Systems and Value for Money

Undertook an in-depth market review in 2005 and again in 2010 on whether the education sector was getting value for money from its significant annual investment in management information systems. Provided recommendations on legal compliance, reducing costs and improving value for money and reducing bureaucracy.

National roll-out of Learning Platforms

Led the programme to deliver a Ministerial target that all schools in England should implement on-line Learning Platforms. Developed the specifications and procurement framework that allowed individual schools and local authorities to procure a choice of ICT services and equipment from quality assured suppliers. All suppliers demonstrated during their tender evaluation that they had proven experience in delivering true educational benefit through the use of technology. The procurement arrangements were fully compliant with EU directives to reduce the burden of complying with increasingly complex procurement legislation in the public sector. Operated a robust contract management process ensuring that all suppliers were regularly monitored to ensure that they consistently met contractual obligations and that service and quality was maintained or improved. Around 95% of Local Authorities that chose to purchase a Learning Platform used these procurement frameworks.

Independent Procurement Advisory Service

At Ministerial request led the development and service operation of a new national advisory service that provided professional consultancy, support, advice and guidance on procurement to schools, academies and colleges throughout the country. Recruited and trained new team, secured and set-up new premises, developed service offering, new guidance materials and interactive on-line training materials. Delivered highly effective service throughout England with efficiency savings assessed through independent evaluation.

Laptops for Teachers

Personal access for teachers to technology is vital to its effective use in teaching and learning. Responsible for the accreditation and operation of this scheme. Over 234,000 laptaps were purchased by teachers through the scheme with savings of £43million. This money was ploughed back into schools resulting in an additional 48,582 laptops available to the nation's teachers.

Green ICT

Led a Government funded programme to assess and reduce the environmental impact of ICT across the education system. Analysed existing operating models and commissioned research to investigate actual energy usage in English schools. Provided recommendations to the Secretary of State's Zero Carbon Task Force to reduce the environmental impact of ICT.

Internet safety and child protection

Led the development of standards for the provision of broadband and internet services to schools and put in place a demanding national accreditation scheme to improve the quality of provision. Saw a significant increase in the number of providers achieving these standards and the associated improvements in the quality of provision.

Systems interoperability

Educational organisations use a wide variety of software for administration and curriculum management. In addition sharing data between schools, local authorities and the Department for Education must be simple, efficient and secure. Facilitated discussions between the education sector and ICT suppliers to agree standards for data interoperability and put in place the necessary interfaces and infrastructure for efficient systems interoperability.

National Grid for Learning Portal

Appointed as Technical Director to lead the strategic development and on-going operation of the Government's National Grid for Learning portal. Undertook extensive review of service operation and implemented procedures to improve reliability, functionality and performance. These services were high performance, 24x7 clustered Unix services using advanced content management, searching and personalization technologies that received in excess of 4 million hits per week.

Total Cost of Ownership

Designed and delivered a unique research programme to understand the relationship between ICT investment and service outcomes in education. This ground breaking research on the Total Cost of Ownership of ICT in UK schools and colleges informed both local and national strategic planning.

Professional development of ICT technical support staff

Led the development of a new Technical Support Advisory Service funded by Government to improve the quality of technical support in schools and colleges across the UK. Recruited a new team who adapted the ITIL processes for the school sector. The resulting Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS) drives improvements in the professionalism of the ICT workforce and has now been adopted in internationally. Initiated the formal FITS qualification for practitioners and managers.

Consultancy Services Framework

The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme provided an unprecedented capital investment in new schools buildings and ICT provision. High-quality advice and consultancy were vital for local authorities and schools as they planned for the BSF programme, in particular, as they made decisions about ICT that could help transform how students learn and how teachers teach. Led the evaluation and appointment of trusted suppliers who were rigorously evaluated for their capability to meet educational, technical and procurement requirements.

Information Management Strategy Framework

Led the development of the Becta Information Management Strategy framework to help schools make more effective use of their data to support teaching and learning and improve the quality and security of the data that they hold.


Gratton D. Chairman's introduction, NCET Annual Report 1990-1 p2

Jon Richards quoted [online]

Chris Stevens [online]

Trucano p81 [online]

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