[ubuntu-uk] Government report warns about Microsoft lock-in

Toby Smithe toby.smithe at gmail.com
Fri Jan 12 22:14:08 GMT 2007

Hi Phil,

I am all too keen to work with Becta. However, I feel that they should
at least allow me the simple courtesy of a hard-earned reply.

On Fri, 2007-01-12 at 21:44 +0000, Phil Bull wrote:
> Hi Toby,
> On Fri, 2007-01-12 at 20:16 +0000, Toby Smithe wrote:
> [...]
> > I have been quite busy on the fight for free software for schools, and
> > am publishing any developments on that front at
> > http://tibsplace.co.uk/blog/index.php/category/free-software
> > 
> > I don't really trust BECTA. They didn't reply to my completely serious
> > e-mail, so I just assume they are been pressurised into preferring
> > proprietary software. They could just have issued this statement to make
> > us content. I will again write to them, but until I receive a reply, I
> > have no idea why I should think they are trustworthy.
> I've been following some of your efforts, and it does seem as though
> you've just been sent stock responses by their PR department. This is
> unfortunate considering the effort you've obviously put into this, but
> it's something we need to confront.
> I think entering into a dialogue with BECTA will be necessary as a
> gateway to the LEAs (Local Education Authorities). A great deal of IT
> policy-making in schools rests with the LEAs, I believe, even if some
> schools choose not to follow their recommendations. FOSS-sympathetic
> LEAs would be able to provide resources and support on a level which
> could make the adoption of FOSS seem much more practical for a great
> deal of schools.
> Please take a look at this Becta press release [1], especially the three
> reports in the 'Notes to Editors' section. I found them very
> enlightening; the biggest problem the schools studied seemed to come up
> against was a lack of support from the LEA. Some LEAs even seemed to
> actively discourage open-source adoption:
> "The LEA provides no ICT support to the school, and some animosity has
> grown over the issue of the school using OSS." [2]
> By working with Becta, we could hopefully open a useful communication
> channel with the LEAs.
> Thanks,
> Phil
> [1] - http://www.becta.org.uk/corporate/press_out.cfm?id=4681
> [2] - Open Source Software in Schools: A case study report [1] (Page 6,
> Case Study 3, 'ICT in the school')
Help me get to Venezuela!

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