NCET's original logo
Work in Progress - Needs completing. Needs photos.
The idea of a national body to investigate and develop the use of educational technology was proposed by the Brynmor Jones Committee, set up in 1963 to consider audio-visual aids in higher education. It recommended in its report two years later (Brynmor Jones Report Audio-Visual Aids in Higher Scientific Education HMSO, 1965) that a National Centre for Educational Technology should be established. (Becher T. and Lyne R. 1968).
The National Council for Educational Technology (NCET) was set up on 5 December 1967, by the Secretary of State for Education and Science and the Secretary of State for Scotland. Their establishment was the result of consideration of the
The task of the NCET was to promote the application and development of inventions and techniques in the field of human learning (educational technology) and to promote research in educational technology.
The NCET consisted of a Chairman appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and Science after consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland, 31 members appointed by the former and 4 members appointed by the latter. In addition, assessors from eight government departments and educational bodies attended meetings of the NCET. The day-to-day work of the NCET was controlled by a Planning and Finance Committee and by various subordinate committees and working parties which reported to it.
In 1973, as a result of the recommendations of the Hudson Working Party in its published report Central Arrangements for promoting Educational Technology in the United Kingdom (HMSO, 1972), the NFET and its administration were amended by a new scheme sealed on 1 October 1973.
Council for Educational Technology (CET), 1973-1988
The Council for Educational Technology (CET) was established by the Government in 1973 as an autonomous body, replacing and taking over the resources of the National Council for Educational Technology (NCET).
The task of the organisation was amended to promoting the development and application of discoveries, inventions and techniques conducive to the advancement of education and training (referred to as educational technology); and promoting research and encouraging innovation in educational technology.
The constitution of the NCET was changed markedly so that the CET was a representative body, consisting of 59 people, as follows:
the chairman of the Council appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and Science after consultation with the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales; not more than 2 persons to be appointed by the Secretary of State after consultation with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; not more than 4 persons to be appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland; 1 person to be appointed by the Ministry of Education for Northern Ireland; not more than 3 persons to be appointed by the Secretary of State after consultation with the Secretary of State for Employment; not more than 8 persons to be appointed by the Secretary of State after consultation with the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales; and not more than 40 persons to be appointed by the Secretary of State after consultation with such persons or bodies connected with education or training or the provision of services or facilities for education or training as the Secretary of State shall from time to time consider appropriate. In addition Assessors from 11 government departments and educational bodies attended meetings of the CET. In 1979 the Secretaries of State decided to reduce the size of the CET by reducing the number of persons nominated by any interest to one, thus retaining the breadth of representation.
The day-to-day work of the CET was carried out by an Executive Committee (as required by the revised Scheme) and by subordinate committees and working parties which report to it
Many creative people worked for the CET.
Tony Becher was the Council's first Director (Hubbard 1980). Professor Becher was previously Assistant Director at the Nuffield Foundation and then Director of the Nuffield Higher Education group. He went on to be Professor of Education at Sussex University.
He was appointed as Director of the National Council for Educational Technology in June 1969. His background was as an engineer with GEC Labs and a civil servant at the Ministry of Technology. His vision for the Council was that it should concentrate on the development and application of various technologies to education, as opposed to research, which he saw as a job for the universities. He retired in 1986 but kept an active involvement with education through his role as Chairman of the National Extension College.
Becher T. and Lyne R. (1968) Education and Training 1968 10:12 , 494-495
Hubbard G., 1980, The Business of Educational Development, British Journal of Educational Technology, 11-3 p156