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Third of primary school executives slashing edtech spending – report

Nearly a third (32%) of primary school leaders say they have had to cut down on computer (IT) equipment due to financial constraints, according to a new survey conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).

In secondary schools the figure is 20%.

The findings are part of a report on recovery funding released today (April 21) by the Sutton Trust.

While a higher percentage of respondents reported having had to reduce teaching and support staff, the widespread reduction in edtech spending is still a cause for concern in and of itself. As the shift to distance learning during the pandemic pointed out, the poorest students and schools are on the wrong side of a digital divideeven without taking into account the likely impact of a reduction in IT investments.

NFER March survey – conducted as part of his Omnibus Vocal Teacher Poll – also asked the panel of 1,371 practicing teachers about their use of prize for pupils.

Given that the fund is intended to provide targeted support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, it could be expected that helping pupils access distance learning technology would rank fairly high.

Instead, a third (33%) of primary and secondary principals say they use the pupil premium to fill gaps in their general budget.

The government must make a huge investment in the recovery of education so that all pupils have a chance to be successful – Sir Peter Lampl, Sutton Trust

When asked about the specific priority of spending the money received by the initiative, they say they would focus the funds on areas such as additional teachers and teaching assistants (30%), tuition increases (28%) and early intervention programs (11%). Investments in edtech are not mentioned.

More than half (57%) of UK principals report that funding to help pupils recover from the pandemic has been insufficient this year, with the issue particularly acute in the early years of school; only 30% of primary leaders said that the funding was sufficient.

“Today’s survey shows schools are facing enormous challenges due to the pandemic, with schools having to cut crucial staff and pupil support,” said Sir Peter Lampl, founder and president of the Sutton Trust.

“With all this ongoing pressure, funding dedicated to the poorest pupils through the pupil prize is more crucial than ever. It is unfortunate that a third of bosses still say they use pupil prize funds to fill budget gaps. The government must make a huge investment in the recovery of education, so that all pupils have a chance to be successful ”.


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Third of primary school executives slashing edtech spending – report

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