The future of Microsoft licensing for schools

We’re in the final throws of organising BETT (the lorry is loaded, and the final can of orange paint is in!), but I thought I’d take a couple of minutes out of my day to correct a little bit of confusion that’s appeared in the press today – just in case you’re worried by it….


The best way to save schools money?

Identifying ways that you can contribute to budget savings in your school is important to me. Which is why I’ve written 35 separate ICT Money Saving articles on this blog. The definitive article, Top ICT Money Saving Tips, identifies a series of strategies to save a secondary school up to £350,000 over three years. To…


Home Access with Assistive Technology–grants still available

Although the main Becta Home Access programme has now closed to new applications, there are still plenty of grants for free computers available for learners who qualify for the Assistive Technology scheme. These grants are for a child that has severe disabilities or a statement of Special Educational Needs, where they need extra help to…


Parental Engagement–bringing parents on to the Learning Gateway

Last week I wrote about schools using Learning Gateway to connect with parents and followed that with looking at the practical issue of making sure your data is up-to-date. The targets for schools to provide online parental reporting are DCSF & Becta guidelines, not legislation – and as such there probably aren’t penalties for schools…


One third of head teachers don’t know how much they spend on ICT

Continuing my “Things I Learned This Week” series – this week, Part Eight This week I’ve been continuing my reading of the Harnessing Technology survey from Becta. Buried deep in the data tables, and summarised on the analytical report, is some interesting information about Information Communications Technology (ICT) spend in UK Schools. 1. 33% of head…


Four out of five schools outsource their ICT –Things I Learned Last Week #7

This week, I’ve been reading the Becta Harnessing Technology Survey in a lot more detail, and especially some of the spreadsheets of questions which didn’t make it into the final report. And the following things I learned are courtesy of the survey. 1. Four out of five schools are already outsourcing some of their ICT…


The TES writes a scary Information Security headline

People are definitely getting concerned about the need to secure data in schools. On Tuesday, in the "When too much security means less security" post I mentioned that there are new stricter penalties faced by organisations for losing/disclosing personal data, with fines up to £500,000. And there has been some discussion about the need for…


When too much security means less security

In December, my local BBC News station showed an interview with a head teacher, who’d had to crawl across a sloping playground, covered in black ice, to send out a text to let parents know the school was closed. Which surprised me because he was using one of the systems that allows you to send…


Home Access Suppliers 2010 – recommended Home Access suppliers

When the Home Access Programme was first announced by Becta, in January 2010, there were six suppliers on the scheme, where parents could spend their grant cards. And Becta have recently announced an additional four suppliers. Which means that your parents have ten different suppliers they can turn to. However, it’s unlikely that a parent…


Becta Home Access Scheme – free computers going fast

I’ve mentioned a few times that the Becta Home Access scheme has started rapidly, and that you need to encourage your qualifying students to take up their grants quickly, before they all go (the simple qualifying criteria is Year 3-9 pupils who have Free School Meals. But read all the small print here). Well, there’s…