While school budgets are continuing their decline in 2017/18, the report shows that budgets are on the upward in 2018/19, both in primary and secondary English maintained schools. Commissioned by BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association), the research was undertaken by the National Educational Research Panel (NERP) with 557 primary schools and 366 secondary schools.
Primary schools are projected to expand spending on ICT during 2018/19. The increase is likely to equate to an average of £400 per primary school. The overall market impact is forecast to extend spending by around £7m.
For secondary schools, the forecast for 2018/19 is also more positive, with spending expanding by £9m (+3.5%).
While this additional expenditure is welcome, it is much needed. BESA’s research found that only 33% of secondary schools and 60% of primary schools consider that they are sufficiently equipped with ICT infrastructure and devices. Primary schools are therefore planning to dedicate the additional spending to networking and peripherals items, in addition to allocating about a third of their budget to devices for pupils and teachers.
BESA’s research found that only 33% of secondary schools and 60% of primary schools consider that they are sufficiently equipped with ICT infrastructure and devices.
Caroline Wright, Director General of BESA, said: “Seeing schools ready to increase their spending on ICT in 2018/19 is an encouraging sign that schools are increasingly recognising the positive impact educational technology has, when applied well, on pupil performance.”
On the lack of ICT infrastructure in schools, Wright continued: “Disappointingly, two-thirds of secondary schools still say that they are not being sufficiently equipped with ICT infrastructure and devices. There is, therefore, more to do to provide pupils with access to the necessary resources, edtech tools and skills to enable them to compete in a global market.”
“These findings show that schools are making a step in the right direction, but it is the first step in the longer marathon of ensuring schools are well resourced in their curriculum and resources budget across the wider system.”
For more information on BESA’s work, visit besa.org.uk