BSF programme boosts schools' IT spending
5.3% annual growth predicted
Education spending on ICT will be accelerated by the Building Schools for the Future programme, according to research by Kable.
Investment in new technology for secondary schools has grown faster than any other part of the state education sector over the past three years and this is set to continue, the research says. Overall, it predicts an annual growth rate of 5.3 per cent for schools' IT expenditure over the next three years, from £1.05bn in 2008-09 to £1.29bn in 2011-12.
The growth is largely due to the BSF programme in England, which is set to invest £6.5bn in new school buildings and facilities up to 2008. Its total spending could reach £45bn and some 10 per cent of this will be invested in new technology, according to the report by Kable, which is owned by the same company as GC News.
"As more schools enter the BSF programme, expenditure will rise steeply," said Philippe Martin, Kable's senior education analyst. "Partnerships for Schools, the organisation responsible for BSF, has predicted that 35 schools will open between 2008-09, 115 in 2009-10, 165 in 2010-11 and 200 each year afterwards until the completion of the modernisation programme."
Steve Moss, BSF's strategic director for ICT, said that in terms of its non-financial value, ICT is usually ranked at 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the worth of the programme. "Local authorities are seeing it as extremely important for their transformation," he said.
The Primary Capital Programme, which is set to inject £7bn into primary school buildings and equipment over the next 15 years, is expected to increase ICT spending in a similar fashion. But as the report points out the programme is still at an early stage, and it is likely to be several years before it has a significant impact on national spending figures.
The report predicts that services will be the fastest growing area of schools' ICT spending, with an annual growth rate of 20.1 per cent. It predicts an explosion in the use of IT outsourcing, from £18m in 2008-09 to £151m in 2011-12. But it adds that spending on communications will actually drop very slightly, from £93m in 2008-09 to £90m in 2011-12.
Kable's findings also reveal that ICT investment by further education colleges will continue to rise, driven to a large extent by the government's goal of raising national skills levels.
This article was originally published at Kablenet.
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see the Internet as the magical solution to everything. If it involves tech stuff the kidz iz darn wiv it. Unfortunately that appears to be the thinking behind it all.
There's also in idea of poorer kids having cheapo laptops and subsidised net access, not unlike the OLPC scheme. We all know what happened to that. Give 'em £99 Linux (TV compatible) boxes. Put the net access out to tender. Job done. Maybe I should be the I(C)T minister!
However, it's the same old story, turn the kids into users, (on systems incompatible outside education), constant upgrades with VAT on top keeping the govt in dosh. I had the same problem when I left school: the real world didn't use Beebs, just as it doesn't use BSF. At one of my 1st job interviews I fell flat on my face. "Here's our Amstrad 1512. Make it work". Like others have posted, the teachers themsleves can't perform the simplest of tasks, so it looks in some cases like the blind leading the blind. A final thought, I wonder how many shares said politicos have in RM/MS?
Spot on...as I'm taking my Applied ICT A-Levle (Applied? hah!) I wonder whether I'm just wasting my time. At least I'll get a bit of paper to wave at employers...
@ James Anderson
'Perhaps you should take a step back and ask yourself why should any teacher be interested?'
A very good point and one that has been debated many times but if the government are going to make the investment then they should consult teachers and teachers unions and get them on board otherwise the money and investment is wasted.
I am involved with teachers and in teaching and learning development so i can appreciate where you are coming from.
I didn't advocate the replacement of whiteboard more pointed out the fact that it has already been done in many schools.
'Before you hand over money you need to define what sort of stuff you want to do and evaluate whether the proposed system would be any good at it.'
That's been a problem with IT in secondary education for ages, the focus is on getting the kit in the schools but then they have no idea how to make use of it other than using publisher to make posters.