More than 50 per cent of schools are planning to spread their investment in technology to stretch limited budgets, according to a report by Syscap.
The survey found that schools are increasingly likely to use collective buying and will seek to form shared-service partnerships with other schools in order to avoid making painful cuts to teaching and equipment budgets.
Results showed that despite the best efforts of schools, there will be some areas where the impact of under-investment will be immediately obvious. This applies to schools that have had their Building Schools for the Future (BSF) applications dropped, resulting in 84 per cent abandoning their plans to extend buildings.
Just 27 per cent plan to refurbish existing buildings, and nearly half (45 per cent) need to find other ways to fund emergency repairs.
Philip White, chief executive of Syscap, said: “Heads know they are facing a very tough budget balancing act and this applies to spreading the cost of investment in new technology. That has put financing methods such as leasing at the top of schools’ agendas.”
Worryingly, a large proportion of schools that applied to the BSF scheme seem to have deferred routine maintenance while their application was being considered, and are now facing bills for emergency repairs.
Given that this year more of the schools capital budget was allocated to local authorities rather than directly to schools, they may have to fight to obtain the money for repairs.
“The cancellation of the BSF scheme has dealt a fatal blow to schools’ plans for new buildings – only three per cent feel that they can continue with their building projects without this funding,” added White.
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