How can I unlock funds from ICT to support teaching and learning?

Being part of a multi-academy trust brings with it opportunities to work and learn from other members in the trust and benefit from group-wide initiatives such as restructuring ICT to unlock funds that can be redirected for School Improvement. Simply by looking at the way that ICT is being used across the trust could result in significant savings.

We have worked with a range of multi-academy trusts to deliver savings from more effective use of ICT. Through this experience we have been able to calculate potential % cost savings for an academy within a multi-academy trust taking the below set of actions to unlock funds from ICT to support teaching and learning.

Area % saving
Procurement: swapping key services on a like-for-like basis 6%
Procurement: hardware and software 4%
Reduction in hardware and moving to the cloud 15%
Reduction in headcount in ICT support 10%
Total savings 35%
Moving to the Cloud

Becoming a server-less school and moving to the cloud can have a significant impact on reducing your academies overall ICT spend. As cloud-based solutions have no local servers to manage, maintain, repair and in due course, replace, schools can make substantial cost-savings as a result of moving to the cloud. By reducing these ICT maintenance and support service costs, funds can be released to benefit school improvement.

Investing in cloud services also improves the accessibility of ICT, as staff and students can access systems from anywhere, on any internet-enabled device, rather than just within the school network. One example of this would be looking at a cloud-based MIS system, such as RM Integris; this allows schools to have secure online access to pupil data anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Guest blogger Andy Hutt, Educational Specialist from Learning Potential, has considered how you can start to make the most of the cloud and what options are available for academies. See his blog post here.

Make the most of free resources

With the rising interest in Google Apps for Education and the prevalence of Microsoft Office 365 in academies all over the UK it seems obvious that academies should be making the most of these free resources available to them. Google Apps for Education and Office 365 both offer wide ranges of productivity tools which are completely free for educational establishments. Whether you are 'Going Google' or already making full use of Office 365, RM Education has the knowledge and tools to provide you with the devices, infrastructure, change management solutions and support services which you may need.

The Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) has worked with RM Education to migrate their academies to Google Apps for Education (free cloud-based tools from Google), and complemented this with 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. Research undertaken with Google has shown that over five years, the Trust are predicted to achieve £900,000 in cost savings as well as a substantial £7,700,000 in benefit savings.

Scale of economies

Recent studies conducted by RM Education have shown that secondary schools are spending as much as £135 per pupil on school-employed ICT teams and any outsourced technical support; this equates to an annual ICT spend of £93,555. Outsourcing ICT support in a structured and strategically focused manner will minimise unforeseen costs, mitigate future risks and deliver long-term cost savings of at least 15%.

Having a partner that manages all of your ICT support can provide consistency across all academies and deliver significant cost savings. Support services such as RM Flex combine local engineers, shared across multiple sites if appropriate, for a personal service with national scale and corporate efficiencies. With this type of service you have access to the expertise of 300+ engineers, plus legal, HR and service delivery teams across RM to support your organisation.

Through our skilled team of educational technologists we can meet with you, understand your School Improvement Plans and build a solution that meets your objectives and supports you in achieving them. We can build bespoke ICT solutions for your academy/academies to ensure exceptional value for money that will fundamentally change the way academies use their budgets for the provision of ICT, unlocking funds to be reinvested in School Improvement whilst providing the latest, innovative technology.

Find out more or 0800 046 9793

Cloud management & personal device monitoring
Consultancy, CPD & Training
Online safety, proactive alerts, user-level filtering & training
Outsourced proactive tasks to free up your in-house team
Infrastructure & network solutions
Trust-wide data view
Cloud-based MIS
Fully outsourced ICT support
High-speed, resilient & cloud-ready connectivity
Cloud collaboration, productivity & teaching tools
1:1 devices - Chromebooks, iPads, tablets

How can I unlock funds from ICT to support teaching and learning?

Cloud management & personal device monitoring

With more BYOD schemes being introduced and the rise of devices in every classroom it is more important than ever that you have a clear strategy for managing and monitoring devices to ensure your students stay safe online.

RM has tools which provide monitoring, collaboration functionality and controls for internet usage, enabling teachers to conduct lessons in a productive, focused and safe environment. From real-time keyboard monitoring, to application monitoring and control, and viewing student screens RM has the tools to support you.

Now that technology is being so regularly used in the classroom it can be difficult to decide what will have a positive impact on the classroom and not become a distraction. We offer a number of different options for training and support to give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to make the most of your technology.

We offer educational and technical CPD covering Google, Apple and Microsoft and other technologies, helping you to make the most of your existing technologies or supporting you in choosing the best solution to integrate with your existing systems. We also offer online safety consultancy to ensure your staff, pupils, parents and governors feel more confident in today’s online environment.

Senior leaders of multi-academy trusts are responsible for the safety and well-being of their community. It is therefore essential to have systems in place which can support this, to give you the confidence that your staff and learners are safe across all of your academies

There are many tools available that can help you standardise online safety across all your academies, so you can ensure consistency in approach and produce the right reports to satisfy Ofsted.

One of the biggest barriers to using ICT is staff confidence, however the people with the most knowledge are often carrying out manual tasks to make sure everything is working, and this often takes up most of their day.

Did you know that around 60% of your ICT issues can be fixed remotely? By selecting proactive support contacts for your academies you can free up the time of your technical team and focus their efforts on supporting teaching and learning in the classroom.

Network solutions

As a Trust you want to find cost effective solutions that will mean technology just works across all of your academies. We offer impartial and independent advice, across a wide range of leading technology brands, to help you put in place the right infrastructure that can harness current and emerging trends.

Trust-wide data view

As a senior leader in a multi-academy trust you need to know how your academies are performing, this can be challenging when individual academies are using disparate systems and there is no easy way to pull the data into a trust-wide central view. Producing this data in a manageable fashion can be expensive and time-consuming.

A new feature coming into RM Integris very soon is a dashboard which pulls together essential information such as attendance, behaviour and attainment for all your academies into one place. This will enable you to immediately identify areas of concern and look at opportunities for staff development. For example, where one academy has an area they are preforming well in they could support the other academies in the trust.

The management information system (MIS) is the backbone of your academies, providing you with all the vital information about your staff and students. However, this no longer needs to be hosted by on-premise hardware which is expensive to manage and hard to access from multiple locations. The way we work today demands the need to access systems at anytime from anywhere. A cloud-based MIS will give you this freedom yet provide you with the confidence that all your data is safe and secure.

Consider the cost savings when you remove the need for an admin server, the warranties and the onsite maintenance. This aggregated up over the number of academies in your MAT could result in significant cost savings.

Having an ICT partner that manages all your ICT support can provide a consistent service across all your academies, ensuring they all have reliable and well managed ICT to support their teaching and learning needs today and in the future. Support services such as RM Flex provide you with a mix of onsite engineer time, remote fixes, and proactive checks making sure any issues are fixed quickly and efficiently. Not only this, it has been proven that by outsourcing your support you can save at least 15% on your ongoing ICT costs.

One key benefit for an academy joining a MAT is to be able to collaborate and learn from others, this can be made easier if they have the same access to technology. A robust broadband connection is essential in enabling this. Not only will your teachers need to use the latest innovations in teaching and learning but they will also need to communicate easily and share best practice across the MAT

RM Education understand how the internet is used in the educational environment and will be able to advise you on the best solution, now and for the future, and because you’re in a group of schools we can provide better value for money through aggregated contracts and economies of scale.

One of the benefits of being part of a MAT is the opportunity to share resources between academies. Cloud collaboration enables you to easily share trust-wide policies and procedures, encourage teaching staff to work on shared lesson plans or contribute to group forums and facilitate shared working groups across the Trust with your students.

RM Unify is an online portal that makes it easy for your academies to work collaboratively regardless of geography.

The initiative whereby each pupil gets a device for themselves can often lead to better collaboration and interaction between pupils as each pupil has access to whatever they need at the time they need it. 1:1 devices opens up classrooms to greater flexibility and collaboration which is often not possible when students are sharing computers.

We have extensive experience of designing and validating ICT equipment for use in education. We have tested and selected a range of products for use in schools. These products have been checked by RM and we offer a range of training and consultancy to support the successful implementation of them in your school.

To discuss how we can help turn your vision into reality call us free on 0808 172 9527 or email

What trusts are asking...

Here are some of the questions trusts are asking us, select any that relate to your requirements to see  an overview of how we can help you address them.

How can we make the most of the cloud?
How easily can I access the data I need to help my trust raise standards?
What more can we do to help our academies collaborate effectively?
How can I ensure my academies receive consistent, cost effective services?
How can I ensure my trust grows sustainably?
How can we use our scale to achieve value for money?

How can I ensure my academies are protected online?

How can I unlock funds from ICT to support teaching and learning?
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