Becta was the UK Government's lead agency for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education, covering the United Kingdom. (However, in practice its remit in Scotland was restricted by devolution.)
It was established in 1998 through the reconstitution of the National Council for Educational Technology (NCET). Becta was a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.
In March 2007, Becta was given an enhanced remit by the Department for children, schools and families (DCSF) in England (which was then the DfES); to lead the co-ordination, development and delivery of the government's strategy to harness the power of technology to help improve education, skills and children's services. A key part of Becta's role was to work closely with the DCSF and other partners to ensure that the potential of technology is taken fully into account in developing future policy.
The Becta web site is http://about.becta.org.uk.
Closure of Becta
(announcement of 24 May 2010)
The UK Government via DfE (the Ministry which funds schools and related activities in England) have announced a package of public sector savings which includes the planned closure of Becta. It is expected that Becta will cease operations at or before the end of the current financial year (ending March 2011). For a summary see http://news.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?resID=42305 and for more details search for "Becta" in the government financial document at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/press_04_10.pdf