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

Also covered within this other government departments and bodies such as Ofsted.


Work in Progress - Needs completing. Needs photos.

becta building

Sanctuary Buildings

The Department

The Department.







Key People in the Department relating to Educational Technology

Whilst analysis of the Department's evolving reaction to educational technology shows that it was usually slow and reluctant, reacting to the external pressure created by new technological innovations (audio visual aids, computers, microlectronics, information superhighway, personal technologies) only after they were championed by other bits of government - it was also driven by a small number of enthusiastic civil servants and politicans who took a proactive stance. The pen-portraits below are not an exhaustive list but offer a snapshot of some of the drivers behind particular departmental inititiatives.




Kenneth Baker

Kenneth Baker, initially as an MP, then as Minister for Information Technology at the DTI and then as Secretary of State for Education and Science was a strong advocate for technology in education.

Kenneth Baker



Civil Servants


Doug Brown


doug brown




Maurice Edmundsen    

Gabriel Golstein

Gabriel Golstein was HMI

Gabriel Golstein
Peter Seabourne    
Brian Harris    
Mike Ive    






kenneth baker

Kenneth Baker

Minister for Information Technology and Secretary of State

In the early days up to the 1980s educational technology was too small a matter for it to attract the attention of the civil service anything than as a passing interest. The MEP advisory committee from 1980 onwards was chaired by two up and coming senior civil sevants, Nicholas Summers (who memorably described the Department as a vehicle which has the engine of a lawnmower and the brakes of a juggernaut) and Nick Stuart who went on to be the architect of the 1988 Education Reform Act. The committee was administered by Peter Fulford Jones.

Interestingly the Ministers were more enthusiastic, Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister took a strong interest and Kenneth Baker, initially as an MP, then as Minister for Information Technology at the DTI and then as Secretary of State for Education and Science was a strong advocate. Understanding and enthusiasm was also provided by people like David Young (Chairman) and Geoffrey Holland (Director) of the MSC were also instrumental in setting up TVEI which pushed the Department from the outside to consider the impact of technology on education and training.


philip lewis

Philip Lewis

Civil Servant

Head of IT in Schools

1987 -1994

Phillip Lewis and David Noble were key from













Gabriel Goldstein

Gabriel Goldstein HMI

Before the creation of Ofsted the HMI were seen as an independent(ish) part of the Department offering advice based on school visits and individual expertise. The first HMI to have a major impact on educational technology was Maurice Edmunsen who worked ... Peter Seabourne Brian Harris Gabriel Goldstein


jim knight

Robin Ritzema

Civil Servant

Head of Superhighways

and Multimedia Unit


Robin Ritzema, along with his colleague Andrew Partridge..










jim knight

Doug Brown

Head of ICT in Schools


Doug Brown was a continuous ..









jim knight

Diana Lauriillard

Civil Servant

Head of e-learning strategy

unit (seconded from OU 2002-5)

Diana Laurillard










jim knight

Charles Clarke

Secretary of State for Education


Charles Clarke was ...









jim knight

Jim Knight

Minister for Schools





Jim Knight was instrumental in many of the later educational technology developments, in particular Home Access, where he chaired its Task Force.




jim knight

Michael Stevenson

Director of Technology




















In 1964, the Ministry of Education was reorganised as the Department of Education and Science (DES), and Quintin Hogg became the first Secretary of State for Education and Science.


Set up in 1963 by the then Ministry of Education the Brynmor Jones Committee published its report in 1965 entitled 'Audio-Visual Aids in Higher Scientific Education'.


The Plowden Report ....


The Manpower Services Commission (MSC) pilot TVEI in November 1982.


City Technology Colleges Trust established – First CTC opened in Solihull in 1988.


The Education Reform Act (ERA) was published and included a wide range of reforms including the introduction of the national curriculum and assessment.





Major Projects


NGfL Division

Communications Aid Project (CAP)

SEN Division

Home Access




Evans, R. (2008) The Technical and Vocational Education Initiative (TVEI) 1983- 1997 [online]