Schools increase their technology expenditure


A year on from schools stating their concern over the government’s removal of ring-fenced funding for ICT, technology budgets across the UK are increasing, recent research has revealed.

The British Educational Suppliers Association’s (BESA) findings come from the 15th annual survey into the opinions and trends of ‘ICT in UK State Schools’. 

The research, carried out in conjunction with the National Education Research Panel (NERP), provides analysis into the likely provision of technology in UK state schools in the next year and gives extensive insight into teacher confidence, training and the level of ICT in schools.

The survey of 1,317 UK schools (766 primary, 551 secondary) found that schools are assigning an increasing amount of their budget to technology, with a 2.1% rise (2.3 per cent in primary and 1.8 per cent in secondary). Looking ahead, the trend looks set to continue with 2013/4 ICT budgets forecast to rise by 3.3 per cent in primary and 2.8 per cent in secondary schools.

The same research in 2011 showed a decline in ICT expenditure of 4.1 per cent in primary and 6.8 per cent in secondary education.

The 2012 research showed that the increase in spending is likely to include desktop, laptop, and tablet computers and peripheral items such as digital content.

The figures reveal that current ICT expenditure is estimated to reach £246.5 million, with 43 per cent of this in primary schools and 46.7 per cent in secondary schools being assigned solely to the provision of computer hardware. ICT budgets peaked in 2008/09 when equivalent expenditure was estimated to be at £275 million.

2011 research revealed that 56 per cent of schools were unaware of the government’s ICT policy. Today, a more informed but polarised view is held, with 36 per cent of secondary schools saying policy is going in the right direction, while 40 per cent feel it is going in the wrong direction.

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