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Visit to be among the first to know what we are premiering at stand C76BETT Update sponsored byCONTENTS6812162026303842464955BESA ICT UpdateNew for 2012New Worlds of LearningLearn LiveEducation Leaders at BETTUpdate on Early YearsCore SubjectsUpdate on FE & HEUpdate on SENTerry Freedman ICT UpdateNew Products at BETTExhibitors at BETT 2012How the 'technological innovations we are racing to keep up with can help us along the way'.The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) is the education sector's trade association, which works with the Government, schools and suppliers to ensure the sector's standards are always optimised.The past year has brought a 'whole new world' to the teaching profession, which has resulted in teachers and school leaders striving to understand the new challenges and to optimise their school's opportunities with the budgets available. The removal of ring-fenced funding for ICT originally brought into question the Government's commitment to ICT in education. Given how thoroughly technology underpins business, it is fair to expect its place in education to be assured, but many had feared that the Government's move to more traditional teaching methods would be at the expense of technology. However, the recent appointment of Vanessa Pittard to head the Government's ICT strategy seems to indicate the Department's recognition of the benefits that ICT can offer, to pupils and teachers alike. In recent months, Gove has touched on the subject more deeply, stating is his recent speech on maths and science to the Royal Society that there is a need to "look at the way the very technological innovations we are racing to keep up with can help us along the way. We need to change curricula, tests and teaching to keep up with technology, and technology itself is changing curricula, tests, and teaching."While our recent ICT in UK State Schools research revealed that 52% of primary schools and 59% of secondary schools are not aware of any current Government policy for ICT in schools, the important message is that schools shouldn't wait for any policy on ICT. The funding is no longer ring fenced and schools have the freedom to spend their budgets how they wish. What is important is that with over 50% of schools stating that over 50% of teaching time is spent using technology, schools must continue to invest to avoid a digital divide.Technology has become so ingrained in our student's lives and in their future careers that, with or without ring-fenced funding, schools' commitments to investment in new technologies must remain strong. BETT's increasingly popular and valued CPD programme is the ideal platform for visitors to soak up the information and guidance provided. Coupled with this, the unique nature of our exhibitors means that advice is always on offer on the show floor, and of course members of the BESA team run the BESA Information Point to answer any queries you may have either about your concerns or the show. The investment in time by coming to BETT will surely result in real value for money. We look forward to seeing you there.Ray Barker, BESARegister for free entry at Priority code: UPDATE