The lack of a formal government education ICT policy means schools must go their own way, the latest annual study by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has warned.
BESA's 14th ICT in UK State Schools report, released today, also found that by 2012/13 nearly half of all schools anticipate more than 50 per cent of pupil time being exposed to teaching and learning using ICT.
The research quizzed 1,324 UK schools (772 primary, 552 secondary), in July 2011.
Despite the prevailing negative perception of funding of ICT, 49 per cent of primary and 33 per cent of secondary schools said they would maintain or increase their planned ICT investments for 2011/12.
However, BESA noted that the government's rapid overhaul of the entire education system over the past year has confused many educators. The lack of a formal government education ICT policy means schools must take spending decisions into their own hands, BESA said.
Ray Barker, director of BESA, said: "We have to be clear that schools are not going to be ‘told what to do any more' so don't need to wait to be guided by the government on their ICT investments.
"Schools know that they must therefore continue to invest in ICT to stop a new form of digital divide being created – between schools. They are definitely not standing still – they are just getting on with it."
Other findings of the report include:
• While only a fifth of primary and a quarter of secondary schools have an
extensive requirement for desktop computers in the current year, the
percentage increases to around a third for laptop computers.
• There is an extensive requirement for digital content in a third of schools –
up from a quarter in 2010, although a fifth of schools have no requirement,
which is a significant increase over recent years.
• Internet bandwidth requirements are generally increasing, with a quarter of
secondary schools indicating an extensive requirement, compared to fewer
than 10 per cent in 2005. Demand in primary schools is less significant, but it remains the case that a fifth of primary schools have an extensive
• Training requirements in the use of learning platforms remains very high in
primary schools, with 70 per cent indicating that more than half of teachers require training. Demand for training in secondary schools is declining in
• Training requirements in using digital content by teachers is higher in
secondary schools, where 55 per cent of ICT leaders indicate more than half of teachers require training. In primary schools demand is lower, but remains
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