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Technical hitch

Becta, the schools technology agency, strongly rejects claims made by Iain Johnson ("Becta soft on software?", TES, December 1) that it is denying schools the chance to benefit from free and open-source software. We also reject the claim that our procurement frameworks steer teachers away from open-source software.

Schools and colleges must be able to make an informed choice about the software they need and to be aware of the total cost of ownership of that software, including sustainable support and training.

Becta works with open-source and proprietary software providers to ensure that schools and colleges can make the most effective use of software to support teaching and learning.

We support open-source software and recognise the value-for-money benefits that larger-scale deployment could bring. But effective use of technology in education is based not just on software deployment, but a total, integrated service solution.

Dr Stephen Lucey Executive Director, Becta

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