Is enough being spent on edtech?

Female High School Teacher Sitting At Table With Students Wearing Uniform Using Digital Tablets In Lesson

A new report explores what the education sector believes are the priorities for education spending – and where edtech ranks

How much does your school spend on edtech? What about your MAT? Or your local council? How much money is being poured into improving the lives of pupils through technology? This is what a recent report – the Promethean State of Technology in Education Report 2019/2020 – aimed to explore, and found that schools simply aren’t spending enough – but this may not be their fault.
The survey this report is based on ran from April to July 2019 and had a sample size of 2,028 teacher, SBM and IT manager respondents across the UK and Ireland. The findings include:

  • 54% of SBMs reported that budgets make it difficult for their schools to realise strategic objectives for the year ahead.
  • 72% of SBMs say budgets will have the biggest impact on education over the next year.
  • Almost five times as many SBMs say operations and maintenance will be top spending priorities after salaries (compared to last year).
  • Additional learning support will see a huge increase in priority.
  • Technology spend has risen to fourth place in budget priorities – 16% of SBMs say they will spend most of their budget on tech over the coming year – up from four per cent.
  • 46% believe too little is spend on edtech.

The report confirms that budgets are restricting schools’ abilities to adapt to edtech trends and requirements. The consensus is that financial difficulties are intensifying, with the main reasons for this being increased spending on operational necessities and special educational support. However, school leaders are not unaware of the need to prioritise tech – in fact, awareness is growing – so perhaps it’s just a matter of time before edtech spending becomes as important as it should be.
“The issue of budgetary constraints in schools is not a new concept and, unfortunately, it is something that has made headlines regularly in recent years,” commented Rachel Ashmore, head of Promethean Academy, according to FE News. “What is interesting from the results of the State of Technology in Education Report is that we are seeing an increase in the concern voiced by educators over the four years the report has been running.
“There are more signs that finances are creating barriers to teaching and learning through limited budgets being soaked up on vital operational costs such as salaries and maintenance or learning support.
“Given the pressures schools are facing, it is more important than ever that educational suppliers work closely with schools to understand their needs and allow them to get the most out of investments.”
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