Whatever happened to Schoolsweb?

Schoolsweb was/is going to be one of the biggest web projects in e-government, bringing together a number of education-centric websites into a single 50,000-page service, with personalisation and email alerting and all that. But as the Guardian noted a year ago today, it was in ‘a bit of a tangle’.

‘The £12m Schoolsweb is to be one of the first “eChannels” to be run on a government-wide web infrastructure… Schoolsweb was due to be launched at the end of 2005. However, the project team was told at the end of (2006) that “poor delivery quality of the first release of this infrastructure has led to significant delays, preventing work from starting on content migration”. The latest go-live date is September.’

Well, September 2007 came and went; and the page at www.schoolsweb.gov.uk is still the placeholder which first appeared in 2006. Heroically though, I note that Fluent Interaction, the agency who designed (and to a large extent, specified) the Schoolsweb site are listing the (still unpublished) work in their company portfolio. Their caveat – ‘challenging build phase pending the full launch of the website shortly’ – is most diplomatic, although still in the present tense.