Post-election shuffle

7th September 2001 at 01:00
The departmental shake-up and ministerial reshuffle after the general election saw Michael Wills move to the Treasury and his post as learning and technology minister disappear when the number of education ministers was cut to five.

Responsibility for information and communications technology (ICT) in education is now split between Cathy Ashton and John Healey.

Baroness Ashton, 45, minister for school standards and early years, oversees ICT in the curriculum, including development of high quality software for school education; the National Grid for Learning, the Computers for Teachers scheme; broadcasting including the development of "world-class digital content", satellite and home-based learning.

John Healey, minister for adult skills, has ICT in education and training as part of his portfolio. He is responsible for the overall strategy on ICT in education and training as well as a range of initiatives including LearndirectUniversity for Industry, Wired-Up Communities and UK Online, and overcoming exclusion in the information age.

Neither minister has professional experience with IT. Before becoming a life peer in 1999, Ashton was chairman of Hertfordshire Health Authority. Healey, 41, has been MP for Wentworth in South Yorkshire since 1997 and was previously campaigns director for the Trades Union Congress.

See the TES Online, October 12, for an interview with Ashton.

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