16 June 2009

Digital Britain

To the RSA to see Stephen Carter launch the Digital Britain final report. This is well covered in today's press and contains few surprises other than the fixed line levy. However, I was impressed by how 'joined-up' the thinking seems to be.

In the skills and education section there a coherent references to to the relationship between Jim Rose's proposals for ICT, Estelle Morris's review on digital life skills (which proposes and adult entitlement to an introduction to digital skills), work by the SSCs e-Skills and Skillset on creating skills for the digital economy and on the importance of media literacy as well as a host of smaller initiatives and pilot programmes that might find new and appropriate practice and promote this.

There is also a recognition that investment in hardware and software for the education sector has not yet produced a teaching workforce capable of harnessing the investment - though there are no new proposals as to how this could be achieved...

So whilst impressed by the coherence of the report I am reminded once again of how difficult (and slow) policy implementation really is. When leading large enterprises in the private sector it was possible to plan and deploy large scale innovation in a year or less. In the private education sector it has been possible to engineer transformations across groups of schools in less than two years. But in the public sector and on a national basis it's hard even to set the agenda.

It's a pity that Stephen Carter won't be around to maintain focus on delivering the Digital Britain vision.

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