Report calls for 'strategic framework' for schools ICT

Although a new ICT curriculum for schools starts this September, an education think tank is calling for a "strategic framework" for technology in sch


Although a new ICT curriculum for schools starts this September, an education think tank is calling for a "strategic framework" for technology in schools.

The independent Education Foundation has published a report into schools ICT, in partnership with Samsung and IT services firm European Electronique.

The expert group around the report was put together in response to a request from the Department for Education to "identify emerging solutions to the barriers facing schools and other learning organisations in using technology to improve learning outcomes".

The report, titled "Technology in Education: A System View", is written by James Penny, solutions director at European Electronique, and Ian Fordham and Ty Goddard, co-founders of The Education Foundation, with contributions from leading educators, industry leaders and academics.

The report says "technology must be more strategically linked to achievement and learning in all schools" and that "collaboration should drive knowledge and advice sharing on a central website accessible for all teachers".

The report also says that "universal high quality access to broadband in all schools would deliver significant benefits" and "schools should adopt cloud-based technology, with a choice of devices based on flexibility and total cost of ownership, to make considerable savings".

In addition, it says "the use of technology to improve achievement must be recognised more prominently and systematically in school inspections", and there is a need to "create accountability frameworks with clear guidance and best practice".

Ian Fordham and Ty Goddard said: “Too often technology reports focus on 'scenarios for the future', that cannot be predicted and leave school and education leaders, governors and budget holders difficult decisions to make, such as how to deal with present day reality, what to spend money on, and how to get appropriate technology into classrooms that teachers can use to support learning."

They said: "This report is a lot more pragmatic and starts from the reality of what’s needed now and in the next few years, and identifies the key barriers that need to be removed to finally realise the potential of technology, to change the lives of young people in schools and other learning organisations across the UK.”

The report was launched at an event this week at the House of Commons, which was hosted by Graham Stuart MP, chair of the Education Select Committee. Also in attendance was skills minister Matt Hancock, who originally convened the report's expert group alongside education secretary Michael Gove.

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