Last year a TES investigation used previously-unpublished Department for Education (DfE) data to reveal how officials believe schools can save £3 billion. The finding was contained in unpublished DfE data revealing how officials think schools “could achieve” the £3 billion of savings they have been told to make by 2019–20. Officials believe that some schools are spending too much across a range of areas, from teaching staff to ICT.
In response, we’ve created this blog post highlighting areas where savings could be made with regard to ICT and provided an example, showing how one school saved £14,000 per year by introducing ICT efficiencies.
Re-evaluating ICT spendHaving the latest, greatest technology in school is ideal for engaging students and impressing parents, but before you spend your budget on artificial intelligence or virtual reality for example, are you convinced it will get used? Is there a likelihood that within a year it might just get forgotten about and you won’t see much benefit from your investment? Whichever technology you purchase you need to make sure that the enthusiasm for its usage is top-down and drives buy-in from across your team of staff. Investing in ICT workhorses such as the network, data management system, the Wi-Fi and reliable hardware is always a solid investment however.
Move to the cloudTransitioning to the cloud requires up-front investment and training but after a number of years schools do see great benefit in the cost savings (mainly from less hardware required) and time savings it offers. Some schools have saved thousands of pounds by moving their ICT to a cloud-based model. Cloud computing can save schools money on power, licences, hardware and support. It also brings them into the 21st century, enabling anytime, anywhere learning and access from any device. The DfE recommends, in their ‘Cloud computing: how schools can move services to the cloud’ guidance, that schools choose a partner that has the experience and knowledge to support your move to a cloud-first world.
Use free toolsThousands of schools have moved to G Suite for Education and Microsoft Office 365. They are free but remember to factor in extra costs – for example integration and licences. There are also hundreds of free educational apps available for teachers to use and this is growing. Find out about the features on offer from G Suite for Education and Microsoft Office 365 and make a quick comparison.
How St Martin’s School in Caerphilly saved £14,000 per year
From overhauling the school’s original 1920s copper wiring to training in-house ICT staff, RM Services has fully supported and advised St Martin’s School in Caerphilly on bringing its ICT completely up to date whilst achieving cost savings.
Since 2015, the school has worked with RM to improve its infrastructure, including:
- Complete rewiring
- Room moves to join up faculties
- A new server room location to meet fire and backup requirements
- Moving away from .gov and becoming a Google school
- New security protocols
- Improving communication with students and parents
- Improved telecoms systems
- CCTV installation
- Transitioning to SIMS on-site
- Increased Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) capability
In addition to these improvements, the Head Teacher Lee Jarvis is delighted to have made cost savings of £14,000 per year, taking the school from being in deficit to now balancing the books. Read the case study in full