At RM Education, we often encounter schools whose ICT investment has been driven by the latest technology trends, where ICT investment hasn't been steered as to how the technology could and would support their pedagogy.
For example, we have seen schools invest in iPad technology but without the right support and ideas about how to embed them into the curriculum, consequently they are often left in the drawer.
Conversely there are other schools that have always had an ICT suite of 30 computers and as they get older they begin to slow down, the school simply goes out and buys the same again because that's what they've always done.
If this approach sounds familiar, consider this; what if you don’t even need these computers? What if your pupils are only really using them to write a few documents or do some brief research on the internet?
In that case, you probably don't need a PC at all and would probably be better with something like a Chromebook, which gives you access to tools like Google Classroom for free. And, since the devices are half the cost of a PC, you're immediately reducing your spend as well as using a more collaborative tool which will help give your students future career skills.
Putting the right tools in place to support your pedagogy, rather than making your pedagogy work around the latest tech, can also bring tremendous cost savings if you're in a group of schools, since you can scale up this technology and share IT support across the Trust.
A great example of how using the right tools can help to dramatically reduce ICT costs for academies is The Academies Enterprise Trust. As the preferred ICT provider to AET, RM Education have been part of a project which has helped AET to migrate their academies over to Google Apps for Education, complemented by a more cloud-based and server-less approach across all of their educational and operational functions.
As part of the project, AET has explored potential cost savings derived from embracing these cloud tools, and over five years, the Trust are predicted to save £900,077 in costs as well as a substantial £7,701,044 in benefit savings**.
For more advice, insights and tips, check out the other blogs in our Budget Solutions series at www.rm.com/blog