Back in 2008 when all the talk started about the inevitability of a change in government, and the likelihood of a Conservative government, it seemed logical to ask the Conservative Party how it saw the role of technology in learning and teaching.

The question and answers (below) speak for themselves.

From: Merlin John [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 29 May 2008 14:28
To: GOVE, Michael
Subject: Re Conservative policy on schools ICT
Dear Michael
I am a freelance journalist covering learning and ICT and I was wondering if you could point me to information on Conservative education policy relevant to ICT in schools. I was working with a colleague yesterday and when the talk came around to the possibility of a change in government we both realised that we were very ignorant about this area.
I hope you can help me catch up.
Regards,
Merlin

From:     Nigel Fletcher <Nigel.Fletcher@Conservatives.com>
Subject:     FW: Re Conservative policy on schools ICT
Date:     2 June 2008 17:00:59 GMT+01:00
To:     Merlin John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Mr John,
Michael has asked me to help you with your request – is there anything more specific you wanted to know, or anything which touches on ICT?
Many thanks
Nigel Fletcher

-------------------------------------------------
Cllr. Nigel Fletcher
Special Adviser, Education
Conservative Research Department
Conservative Campaign Headquarters
30 Millbank, Westminster,
London SW1P 4DP

From: Merlin John [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 02 June 2008 19:46
To: Fletcher, Nigel
Subject: Re: Re Conservative policy on schools ICT
Thank you for getting in touch Nigel.
I suppose there are two broad strands really:
1. How Conservative policies view and position ICT in education in their own right
2. How Conservative policy views current government policies that are ICT specific, like Becta's Harnessing Technology and Next Generation Learning strategies - and programmes like Building Schools for the Future and the Primary Capital Partnership which are bringing in new technologies and managed services.
However, I would rather hear about your priorities than lead you into areas which might not actually be high priority for you.
Thanks for your help,
Merlin

From:     Nigel Fletcher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject:     RE: Re Conservative policy on schools ICT
Date:     7 July 2008 10:28:18 GMT+01:00
To:     Merlin John This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Merlin,
Many apologies for not having got back to you sooner with a substantive reply to these questions.  I’m afraid we don’t actually have much readily available material on our detailed approach to ICT in schools as a distinct issue in its own right.  We obviously support schools having greater access to ICT, and are interested in how it might be used in innovative ways to support learning, but we have not published any specific proposals on this to date.
On BSF, we have said quite a lot on the overall programme, criticizing the delays in the delivery of the original timetable, and the fact that money is being spent where DCSF and ministers want it, not according to parental demand.  Our schools Green Paper includes proposals to reprioritize a proportion of this money to build the new Academies that we have proposed.  I can give you some further details on this, but it is not ICT-specific.  We have actually recently had contacts with some other groups raising these issues, so I know it is now on our radar for further consideration.
I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful in terms of published policy, but hopefully this gives you some idea where we are.
Best wishes
Nigel

From:     Merlin John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject:     Re: Re Conservative policy on schools ICT
Date:     8 April 2010 10:06:55 GMT+01:00
To:     Nigel Fletcher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Dear Nigel
When I made enquiries about Conservative policies on ICT and education back in 2008 you didn't have much to say (below). Now we are moving swiftly to the election is there more that you would like to add?
Regards,
Merlin

From:     Nigel Fletcher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject:     Out of Office: Re Conservative policy on schools ICT
Date:     8 April 2010 10:05:09 GMT+01:00
To:     Merlin John This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thank you for your email. Please note I have now left the Conservative Research Department.  If your message concerns the Children, Schools and Families policy area, please contact my successor, Rachel Wolf, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   For Higher Education and Skills issues, please contact Elena Narozanski (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  If you need to contact me personally, I can be reached on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Many thanks,
Nigel Fletcher
-----------------------------------
Nigel Fletcher
Former Special Adviser, Education
Conservative Research Department

From:     Merlin John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject:     Fwd: Re Conservative policy on schools ICT
Date:     8 April 2010 10:10:22 GMT+01:00
To:     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Hello Rachel
The following email press enquiry to Nigel Fletcher concerning ICT and education bounced back from his email address and suggested that I should address my query to you. Could you help please?
Regards,
Merlin

From:     Cameron, David <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject:     RE: Conservative Policy
Date:     8 April 2010 17:05:47 GMT+01:00
To:     Merlin John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Dear Mr John,
Thank you for your email.
Please contact our Press department via the following details –
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
0207 9848121
Regards,
Anna
Anna Biles
David Cameron’s Correspondence Unit
Conservative Campaign Headquarters
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
David Cameron and the Shadow Cabinet would like to stay in touch with you. Sign up here to receive exclusive e-mail updates: www.conservatives.com/signup/

From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 08 April 2010 11:05
To: Cameron, David
Subject: Conservative Policy
First name : Merlin
Surname : John
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Postcode : N1 9LP
Mobile : 
Comments :
Please let Rachel Wolf know that her email mailbox is full and her emails are bouncing back to senders. I'm trying to get a press query through to her.

From:     Merlin John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject:     Help with press enquiry please?
Date:     8 April 2010 17:31:40 GMT+01:00
To:     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Hi Joanna
I started the following press enquiry, about ICT in schools, back in 2008 with Michael Gove. My last port of call was with Rachel Wolf today but I have now been advised that you are the best person. Could you help please? (full enquiry below)
Regards,
Merlin……………………………………..


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