ICT in UK Schools: Contents page
Appendix A: The Commission and its work
1 Our brief has been to advise Tony Blair and David Blunkett on the key priorities and directions the next Government should take in developing the use of ICT in primary and secondary schools. Please note:They did not ask us to produce a blue print and we have not done so; that should be done by the Government in power.
They asked us to work independently of the Labour Party and that the members of the commission should be chosen for their relevant skills and not their political affiliations.
2 The Commission's membership has been: Dennis Stevenson,
Chairman GPA plc & Chairman Elect Pearson Group
Dr Iain Anderson,
Director, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell
Professor Stephen Heppell,
Head of Ultralab, Anglia Polytechnic University
recently retired from the Department for Education and Employment (DFEE)
Director of Education, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.
Dr David Winkley,
Headteacher, Grove Primary School, Birmingham
3 Advisors aside from the invaluable work done by the McKinsey team (see below) the team has had as a key adviser, Josh Hillman, of the IPPR; we are immensely grateful both to him and the IPPR for releasing him. Although he has not been a formal adviser, we would like to acknowledge the assistance given to us by Bill Freyenfeld, Immediate Past Chairman of the Real Time Club, who has been particularly helpful in giving us the benefit of his own parallel work in this area. Our work has been managed very ably by Clare Crean of SRU Ltd.
4 Our work has had two main sources of knowledge and stimulation.A six month study by a McKinsey team working "pro bono" carrying out an independent analysis of the state of ICT in schools.
The results from an extensive evidence gathering exercise with evidence received from over a hundred interested parties.
Appendix B: Extract from a speech given by Tony Blair announcing the establishment of the Independent Inquiry on the 1st May 1996.
Expert Panel on New Technology
I am determined that in government we do not make false and costly moves. But I am also determined that we do not suffer such delays that our vision turns out to be a mirage. That is why I can announce today that in Opposition, we are making plans to ensure that we are able to proceed in government with efficient speed.
Last year, I approached Dennis Stevenson, a leading businessman and Chairman of the Trustees of the Tate Gallery, to ask his advice about how we could realise the vision I set out at Labour Party conference. He has made a thorough analysis of the issue and has suggested that the subject needs to be addressed via a thorough appraisal by independent experts in related fields, brought together to establish a strategy for action. I am therefore pleased to announce therefore that David Blunkett and I are establishing, under Dennis Stevenson's chairmanship, an expert panel of teachers, business people, financiers and educationalists to report to us on the options for development of our vision. The job of the panel will not be to second guess what will in the end be work of civil servants. It would be foolish to ask them to produce a blueprint - not least because of the rate of change of this technology.
Instead, I have asked them to summarise the current situation (both good and bad); to look objectively at the benefits; to identify what they see as the main technological choices and how we should approach them; to look at the consequences for the curriculum, teacher training and school organisation; and finally to look at how this can be funded using public-private partnership.
The panel will work independent of the party, and its members have been chosen for the particular expertise and experience they bring to the task, not for party affiliation: what counts is their potential to make a major contribution to the lives and education of many millions of young children in the future.
Dennis Stevenson is currently assembling the group to work with him. He brings a sharp and independent mind to all problems and he will provide excellent leadership for this important project. The Panel will include key thinkers and practitioners from education, industry and finance. They will be working through the summer to produce their report. Their work will put us in a position to get straight to work if we are elected to form a Government.
Any initiative of this kind must of course be rooted in the wealth of good practice that already exists. Every school I go into has a good idea, a different way of doing things, an innovative approach, and I am determined that a Labour government builds on the good that exists, and ensures that it is widely spread. We need to set a vision, and then see it through over time.
Education in Britain needs a new partnership based on high expectations and support for success. This conference is part of that process. So is the new expert panel on the new technology in the classroom. What government can bring to this process is vision, commitment, leadership, as well as resources. I look forward to working with you closely in the future to ensure that all our children get an education which prepares them for the next century and not the last.
Appendix C: Request for evidence