News article

Posted by admin PM | on Fri, 13/01/2012 - 08:50  1145

"80% of schools expect ICT budget cut this year" - survey

Government pledges to radically expand use of ICT in schools are leading to little more than frustration after it was revealed that 83% of schools in the UK are facing real term ICT budget this year.
Despite ICT access being widely recognised as fundamental to pupils’ ability to learn, over 80% of UK schools anticipate an ICT budget decrease in the next financial year, a third of whom expect to lose more than a third of their budget, and 70% of respondents expect the cuts to have a negative impact on their pupils’ ability to learn.
The study, undertaken by market researcher Redshift Research on behalf of ICT provider Stone, found that 45% of respondents will prioritise spending on desktops to accommodate their budget reduction. That's because most respondents believe that the quality of the learning environment is actively improved if pupils are provided with dedicated access to a laptop/ PC at school.
However, 91% of respondents are unable to provide dedicated access to a laptop/ PC for all of their pupils and in more than half (54%) of those surveyed, fewer than a quarter of pupils had access at all.
James Bird, chief executive of the supplier behind the poll, said a key challenge for Head Teachers and Financial Directors across the UK education sector would be to find new opportunities for flexible financing in light of 2012’s budget cuts.

“No school wants to see its investment reduced or endure a decline in teaching standards as a result of poor ICT equipment and infrastructure. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

"The IT industry therefore needs to be innovative and more forthcoming in explaining the range of financing options that will support the very diverse needs of the UK’s education system,” he added.