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BETT 2006 awards

No problems? Well you had just better go and invent some, and the solutions to go with them, that's if you want your ICT product to be considered for the heralded BETT 2006 awards. Becta's highly individual brand of bureaucracy requires all firms, even those with new products, to compile problem lists, even if they feel they don't have any, along with the fictitious solutions to go with them, should the problems ever arise.

Privately, entrants are baffled and enraged, but publicly they keep quiet because they are afraid to criticise. That's because Becta's ill-concealed purpose, and the awards' biggest flaw, is to use the awards to compile a list of "approved" products to inflict on schools. They simply don't understand that kite-marking doesn't work for educational ICT tools, just as it doesn't work for the books and other materials that teachers use.

Sounds like a priority rethink for the new regime at Becta when the present chief executive Owen Lynch retires in March 2006.

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