There has been much discussion, on Twitter and other sites this week, about the new government’s decision to take action on quangos and close them down. One casualty of this has been Becta and, while I have heard arguments for and against this decision from a number of colleagues, I for one will be sad to see it go. Lots of people in work (and elsewhere) have asked me why and, at first, I couldn’t really put my finger on it. On reflection I can see that I have used the Becta website for all sorts of things in the last few years and it had become a bit like an old friend: there when I needed it, unobtrusive and dignified, full of interesting information and someone I could rely on.
When I first moved from the realms of SEN into the world of ICT the information and publications available through Becta proved invaluable to me. The first thing I did was order a shed load of useful publications from the Becta site that I felt would assist me in my new role and provide information I could rely on. I read up on ideas, initiatives and developments, looked at how other schools were developing ICT across the curriculum and took advice and ideas from its pages and publications. You could argue (as someone did today) that I could have found all the information and help I needed elsewhere. Well, possibly, but I wouldn’t have known where to start and it was fabulous having all the information I needed in one place.
So, there you have it. Like everyone I realise changes in life are inevitable. Everything moves forwards, onwards and upwards (without necessarily making it better) and sometimes things are cast aside for newer, brighter (cheaper?) ideas. But Becta was good to me and I, for one, must bid it a fond farewell.