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

At a time when cost pressures are becoming more acute, there has been plenty of discussion about where outsourcing helps. Is it something that’s good for cost control? Does it help improve service delivery, or does it get in the way?

Well, according to the survey, many schools have already outsourced one or more of their ICT services to a third-party:

The question Becta asked was: “Are any of your ICT resources provided as a service by third parties over the Internet?”, and this is the response:

  • Email – 54%
  • MIS – 32%
  • Office – 10%
  • Desktop – 6%
  • Applications – 18%
  • None – 19%

So 81% are outsourcing some part of their ICT already, and for the majority that’s email. I suspect that’s a result of so many primary schools using their Regional Broadband Consortia’s email service

2. One in 10 schools provides IT technician support to other schools

Becta asked how often the school provides technicians to other schools or colleges, and the answer was 9% for network support - which rose to 14% for secondary schools.

3. 76% of Year 10’s live in a home with two or more computers

They asked over 1,500 Year 10 students (14-15 years’ old) “How many computers do you have in your home”. Just 2% said “None”, and 20% said “One” – with the rest having more than one computer at home. (Although an unfortunate 2% disappears, presumably as a rounding error).

The actual responses were

  • 2% said None
  • 20% said One
  • 27% said Two
  • 23% said Three
  • 12% said Four
  • 14% said Five or more