School IT Blog

Digital Divide Opening In UK Schools Report Warns. Here's How We Close It...

Thu 02 October, 2014

A BBC news article based on research from BESA has identified that 65% of primary schools have complained about lack of wi-fi connectivity.

The organisation has identified a significant correlation between poor use and uptake of ICT and Ofcom's map of broadband speed ranks, which ranks speed on a county by county basis from 1-5, 5 being the slowest broadband.

You can see the Ofcom broadband speed map here: http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/broadband/

Caroline Wright, BESA director said, “British teachers are world-leaders in the use of educational-technology in the classroom so it is of great concern that pupils are being denied access to innovative and effective digital learning because of poor internet connectivity in more than half of the UK’s schools.

“In today’s digital society, classroom connectivity to an online world of knowledge and resources should be a right for every student in their place of learning and not a lottery.”

In the report, over half of teachers in schools identified the need for continuing professional development and a need for teacher training in the use of technology.

SOFT EGG'S RESPONSE TO THIS REPORT

School Broadband

Broadband is definitely weaker in some areas. But that doesn't mean that you are powerless to make change. Many schools feel stuck with LEA provided broadband which is frequently slow, when non-public sector broadband options are much faster. You're not required to stick with LEA provision if it is inadequate and you can get better broadband speeds for a comparable or cheaper price. Find out more about improving school broadband.

Computers in Schools

The average primary school ICT budget according to the report is around £14,450. Whilst it's expected to grow by 5.5% it's still incredibly important for schools to have IT roadmaps that help them make the most effective use of technology over time. Soft Egg continuously help their schools fix weak links in their ICT provision as well as help schools plan ahead to spend. Moreover, it's important to take account that the number of devices in schools does imply that they are used to best effect. A school can have many iPads but suffer from the lack of a good wifi management solution which makes it difficult to use the devices and reduces the teachers' confidence in using technology.

Continuing Professional Development

Soft Egg are offering a suite of primary teacher resources, downloads and materials to help them get to grips with the Computing Curriculum. We now have an Education Consultant who is advising and helping teachers on precesiely these issues. We have already planned a continuing professional development day on 23rd October 2014 in Bristol as part of the South West Primary Computing Network. We can also offer CPD days directly in other areas. Please contact us to find out more.

In-House CPD Training for the Computing Curriculum

CPD Day, Bristol, 23rd October 2014

On October the 23rd 2014, we will be hosting the first in series of one day CPD events for anybody who is passionate about computing in the primary sector and is located in the South West. Learn more and book a place at this event here: http://bit.ly/1xEOFrn