What they say about LEAs
"There is considerable discontent over the LEA's approach to NGFL. Schools have received no feedback on their ICT development plans, and poor communication has resulted in unease over the allocation of NGFL funding. Many schools have delayed their New Opportunities Fund (NOF) training in the hope that the picture in terms of support available will become clearer."
"Ofsted recommends that LEAs should amalgamate the curriculum support team and the technical support team. When they do that the balance usually shifts in favour of the technical team since they have most of the money. The wiring and the boxes will be seen as more important than the content and the training."
Ofsted report, Hertfordshire 2000
"Pupils' attainment and progress in ICT are in need of improvement and the use and quality of ICT in the curriculum are weak. The majority of schools, particularly primary, are working at a low level and require support to develop the necessary expertise to enable them to move forwardI School visits confirmed that in all six of the primary schools and five of the seven secondary schools where ICT was a theme, support was unsatisfactoryI LEA support for ICT is weak."
Steve Moss, NGFL Cumbria
"The reason that numeracy and literacy has progressed over the last few years is because there is a national strategy that has made a difference. There has been a coherent structure and schools have made it work. Materials are developed nationally and managed regionally. For ICT there is no national strategy; no organisation is set up to look at that. Because there is no strategy, what is offered to schools is very variable. For ICT, quality is dependent on what is done in the LEA, the leadership in the LEA."
"Even at the conference of NAACE (the ICT advisers' group) one speaker from the Department for Education and Employment talked about the four pillars of support: access; connectivity; content; and training. Unfortunately the balance of the speech was tilted in favour of access and connectivity and away from content and training. It was a clear but unfortunate massage."
NAACE response to Ofsted report "The capacity of LEAs to develop ICT in the curriculum is most effective where there is clear vision and commitment on the part of senior officers and elected members."
Those LEAs that are successful "consult well and ensure that decision-making is timely, open and transparent, with the result that it has validity even when it is in some respects not popular."
Teacher "It is basically simple: teachers need a laptop that they can move from home to school. They need equipment at school that works. When they have that, the LEA can leave the scene. Come to think of it, if they leave the scene now, we'll get things faster, cheaper, better and without genuflecting."
"Good LEAs are open to competition and challenge. They do not automatically plump for the public sector or the private provider. They are interested in what works."
Peter O'Hagan, consultant
"The recent introduction of kite-marked managed service providers is the beginning of a journey for schools and LEAs. Now we need a recognition that expertise can be bought from outside the traditional ICT suppliers to local authorities. We need a wider engagement with the private sector."
Ofsted report, Wolverhampton 2000 "Although there is a clear need in schools for support for ICT, the support provided by the LEA is poor."