Schools braced for cuts and pupils face frustration

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Schools braced for cuts and pupils face frustration

Simon Quicke

The extent of the cutbacks in schools has been laid bare by research from Stone indicating that 83% expect shavings off the IT budget and a significant number believe this will impact the learning capabilities of children.

The findings come as the great and the good of the education market meet in London at the BETT show where the plans by the government to change the way computing is taught in schools has perhaps distracted from the cuts debate.

But the research from Stone will put it firmly back on the agenda with the state of ICT provision in schools already a real issue, even before the cuts planned for this year come into force.

A staggering 97% of those responding to the survey accepted that the quality of their facilities would cause frustration to pupils and not far off the same proportion (91%) were unable to allocate dedicated access to laptops and PCs to pupils.

"Schools and colleges have to manage a large reduction in their capital budgets and as a result the deployment of new classroom equipment has virtually ceased, leaving the vast majority of schools frustrated. Head teachers, business managers and bursars are understandably cautious; this is the first full financial year under the new regime and no organisation can afford to make any investment mistakes," said James Bird, chief executive of Stone.

Stone launched a Rent-a-PC scheme yesterday in an effort to help schools get access to technology using more flexible payment models.
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