As part of the government’s drive to control the nation’s finances, public sector spending is being significantly reduced across the board. Funding for ICT is no longer ring-fenced. Yet schools express a belief in the importance of ICT, and are determined to ensure that students have the quality of access to technology that they need in the 21st Century.
In October 2011 a briefing by the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that after a decade of growth, ‘Public spending on education in the UK will fall by 3.5% per year in real terms between 2010-11 and 2004-15.’ http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/5732
The impact of spending cuts on schools will not be even, and current school-level spending will be the least affected. However, there will be, and are already, visible school budget reductions.
At the same time, by contrast, we’re told by the latest annual research on ICT in schools from the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) http://www.besa.org.uk/research that schools are anxious to keep ahead of the game with technology, with more and more pupil-time engaged with ICT.
To support this, schools want better digital content, better training and better broadband. Demand grows across all fronts. The conclusion for school leaders and ICT managers is clear. If ICT is to work within reduced school budgets, while at the same time supporting rapidly increased use of technology for learning, then decisions must be driven by cost-effectiveness and value for money.
Our mission here is to help you make those good decisions, and reap benefits from the extensive efforts being made by Microsoft® to provide products for education which are both affordable in themselves, and also capable of contributing to across-the board spending.
To assist with this, and as part of our on-going series of eBooks, we have partnered with the Guardian to make our new 'Cost Saving in Education' eBook exclusively available within their Teacher Network until the end of September 2012. The eBook can be viewed/downloaded directly via the Guardian's Teacher Network download centre.
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