Caroline Wright from BESA offers insight into their recent research on school budgets and expenditure
Another year has passed and in this time technology has continued to become increasingly ingrained in our students’ lives and in their future careers. Despite the removal of ringfenced funding for ICT, schools now recognise that they
must continue to invest in technology to avoid a digital divide. At Bett 2012 an unprecedented number of educators came to keep up to date with the latest learning technologies and more importantly, to ensure they were investing wisely. However, do schools still have the budget to invest in technology?
There had certainly been a perception by schools that there was a significant declinein funding, but our ‘Resources in English Maintained Schools’ research released earlier this year showed that this was far from true. Yes, schools which had thrived on government funding increases of, on average, 3.5% every year, over the previous decade, were, for the first time, faced with budget cuts. However our research showed that in 2011/12 the reduction was by just 1.8% in primary schools and 2.7% in secondary education; they were, in effect, as well off as they had been a year earlier.
So schools still have money to invest and the need for ICT to be embedded across the curriculum is ever present.
Added to this, the move away from local authority control, makes it even more important for schools to visit Bett, to ensure they are seeing all the available product options and of course, having the opportunity to negotiate the best price! So many new responsibilities have been placed on schools and the need for on-going professional development is paramount to a school’s success. Bett’s increasingly popular CPD programme is the ideal platform for visitors to source this.
Looking ahead which technologies are forecast to be an increasing part of our classroom environment?
Our research has shown that 75% of primary schools and 68% of secondary schools currently use visualisers and 85% and 66%, respectively, forecast their use by the time of Bett.
Further research announced in May revealed an increasing focus in the adoption of tablet computers. Our findings showed that 6% of all pupil-facing computers in schools will be tablets by the end of 2012. The schools surveyed forecast that by the end of 2015 the percentage of tablets will have risen to 22% of all pupil-facing computers. Unsurprisingly, 82% of all teachers also said that their pupils have an interest in using tablets.
So once again Bett is set to offer visitors the most pertinent CPD sessions, coupled with a display of the very latest technologies, supplied by over 600 exhibitors. We will be on the BESA Information Point (stand area E250) throughout the show to answer any queries you may have.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Caroline Wright | BESA
For more news and views from Bett visitors and exhibitors, download 2013′s Bett Update.