A YouGov survey on behalf of TES published today reveals that 54% of heads believe that their school does not take full advantage of the benefits of technology.

The concern is echoed more widely among senior leaders, with 51% of assistant heads and 52% of other leaders saying that not enough is made of ICT in school.

Mark Chambers, chief executive of ICT subject association Naace, said: “I’m almost embarrassed to say that I am not surprised. The reason for it is that we are working in a system that is afraid to take risks.”

The roots of this attitude were “complex”, he added, but too often technology was not taken seriously enough in schools, particularly among heads.

“When it comes to using technology, there are too many school leaders who proudly profess their allergy to it.”

The survey comes as a report from the British Educational Suppliers Association (Besa) and Naace found that nearly half of all schools are being forced to slash their ICT budgets.

So how can we use ICT more and have it cost less?

The RM Flex team spend their days embedding ICT in schools to make it more effective for both teaching and learning, and our work with hundreds of schools on projects like these conclude that the following 7 steps are a good way to start:

1. See the bigger picture

The easiest way to overspend on your ICT is to buy unnecessary solutions to problems you don’t have, so start with looking at the big picture.

Start by asking these questions
2. Learn from others

Before you embark on an exciting new ICT project, consider whether another school has already done something similar before you.

Make a connection
3. Use free online resources

Before you spend any of your precious budget on software, take a moment to look at the thousands of free web-hosted resources that are available.

Get your free guides
4. Try before you buy

A simple way to de-risk your purchases is to test their suitability for your school by running a small-scale pilot project that enables you to try the technology in the classroom with your teachers and students.

Set your trial objectives
5. Making informed purchases

So you need to make a choice with your limited budget between upgrading your infrastructure, or providing new devices. Which should come first?

How to make your choice
6. Making best use of your time

Does your School Business Manager spend a good proportion of their week managing the complex relationships with the 20 or more ICT vendors that your school works with?

Claim your time back
7. Getting the most from your resources

Embedding ICT is the most vital part of your strategy. You need to ensure that any devices, solutions or software you commit to will be used to their full extent in the classroom.

Set your expectations

Following this 7 steps process will ensure that your school isn’t part of the 54% of schools allergic to ICT.

You can download a full copy of this 7 step guide at www.rm.com/bestvalueict
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