Better on history than pragmatism

5th January 1996 at 00:00
DEVELOPING A WHOLE IT POLICY. Edited by Bill Tagg Pitman Publishing, Pounds 19.95

This book condenses the experience and knowledge of a number of members of the information technology advisers' and inspectors' organisation, NAACE, and its 12 chapters set out the history of IT, before going on to give practical advice on audits and producing a school development plan for IT.

The roles and responsibilities of the key players are explored, along with technical issues and topical subjects like multimedia, local management of schools, legal requirements and a peek into the future. It is a helpful reference book, with practical ideas, checklists and aides-memoires.

The foreword points out it is not long before this sort of book seems dated, and, as if to reinforce the pace of change, the new Office for Standards in Education requirements for the inspection of schools that are to be implemented from April, will mean a revision for this volume.

The cover says that "headteachers, senior managers, IT co-ordinators and governors in primary and secondary schools will find it invaluable".

The comments which arose from this target audience reflected the view that this title is reasonable as a reference, but that it is not pragmatic enough. This is especially so for IT co-ordinators who would have liked to have policy exemplars andor a disc with those text files for subsequent implementation.

The consensus is that a future edition would benefit from some prototypes for people to get their teeth into.

However, the book does provide a good history and overview of the educational IT scene, and goes a long way towards its declared goal.

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