The Department for Education has published its digital and technology strategy, outlining its priorities and ambitions for 2021.
The strategy aims to contribute to excellent outcomes and care, and takes inspiration from local education and other government bodies who have recently published, in the open, their strategies:
- Defra, digital and design thinking is influencing the future of farming
- Greenwich council’s four-year strategy
- Ministry of Justice’s digital strategy
The Department for Education has set out its operational aim to move towards agile methodologies that are focused on sector and user needs, and has identified four principles/priorities:
- Respond to the needs of children and students
- Run the business
- Reduce burden on the system
- Raise the bar
The unit aims to ‘bring policy and delivery even closer’ and support learners to thrive with internet technology and services.
It plans to increase use of cross-government platforms, stating: “We’re increasingly using platforms like GOV.UK Notify and GOV.UK Platform as a Service. Departments can use these technologies when building and running services to make them faster, simpler and safer.
“We continue to invest in our own platforms too, such as our cloud hosting platform, and DfE Sign-in, which makes it simpler and safer for teachers to access services.
“We’ll continue to gather the data to show if platforms are succeeding or failing. We’ll make the best use of good ones, and quickly reconsider those that are not as effective.”
The DfE in the outline strategy also notes the approach to ‘one of greatest challenges’ managing legacy technology, processes and services.
The guide states: “Changing these systems is possible, but it cannot be addressed in 2021 alone. It will take time. We’ll use several approaches, which collectively will make an impact. We’ll reduce our highest priority legacy technology risks, stop services where the risk outweighs their value, ensure value thorough and excellent maintenance of our software, bringing business operations and development closer, propose new ways to fund, buy, build and operate, and publish new principles and standards to avoid these problems in the future.”