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Schools to up spending on ICT for first time in three years

16/01/2018 Joanna

School ICT budgets are expected to tick upwards this year for the first time since 2015-16, according to a new report.

The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has shared with TES the findings of a new survey it has conducted, showing that schools are expecting to spend nearly three per cent more on ICT in 2018-19 than they budgeted for in 2017-18.

Drawing from a sample of 557 primary schools and 366 secondaries selected as an accurate representation of all schools across the country, it was shown that primary ICT spending is expected to come to £289 million in 2017-18, before rising to £295.8 million for 2018-19. For secondary schools, these figures are estimated at £263.8 million and £273.1 million, respectively.

Although these figures remain lower than the amounts spent in 2016-17 and 2015-16, the reversal of three years of consecutive declines reflects the fact that more schools are starting to realise the importance of investing in computing.

For 2018, only one-third of secondary schools said their ICT infrastructure is well-equipped, down from 37 per cent last year and 64 per cent the year before that. Among primary schools, the sentiment is more positive, with 60 per cent saying they are currently well-equipped - although this is down from a peak of 67 per cent in 2016.

Caroline Wright, director general of BESA, said: "Seeing schools ready to increase their spending on ICT in 2018-19 is an encouraging sign that schools are increasingly recognising the positive impact educational technology has, when applied well, on pupil performance."

She added that additional investment in this area is essential pupils to ensure pupils have access to the necessary resources, tools and skills they require to compete in a global skills market.

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