The results of Capita’s recent survey shows more than 54% of staff in independent schools have access to a tablet at work.
Of those who responded, 56% revealed that the use of tablet devices was primarily driven by the school’s senior leadership team. This suggests that many school leaders in fee-paying schools see the value of enabling technology to be used more widely across their schools. The survey was conducted by SIMS Independent, part of Capita, at their annual conference in Windsor.
Julie Booth, head of SIMS Independent, said: “There has been much media attention around the growth in the use of tablets to enhance pupils’ learning, but very little on the benefits that these devices can bring for staff.
“At a time when teachers’ workloads are under the spotlight, the survey results suggest that many school leaders are starting to champion the view that technology also needs to ease the burden of administration for teachers, freeing them to spend less time tied to a desktop computer and more time with their pupils.”
More than 32% of respondents said tablets were being used by staff to access email and deliver lesson content and a quarter said they were recording or tracking attendance on them.
The survey also looked at the adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes for mobile devices in fee-paying schools. Nearly 70% of respondents said their schools did not have a BYOD policy in place. When asked about the reasons, 14% said they were worried about issues around equal access and 5% said they wanted similar devices to be used across the school. Interestingly, only 10% of respondents indicated that their school had not taken a BYOD route due to concerns about security.
The survey results also suggest that:
• Staff in a variety of schools are using mobile devices. Of those respondents who said their schools that had introduced tablets for staff, just over half (52%) were all through schools, 30% were senior and 11% were preparatory schools.
• Schools see these devices as a time saver for staff as well as a useful tool in the classroom – 28% of respondents said that teachers in their school prepared lesson resources on a tablet and 22% said staff used them to display work.
Julie Booth, head of SIMS Independent, continues: “The results back up what I frequently hear from schools – there is a real need for mobile solutions to release time for teachers and help them do their jobs. But with the right software loaded, tablets also provide a valuable tool that teachers can use, both inside and outside the classroom, to keep their pupils on track or spot those at risk of falling behind.”