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 teachers don’t know how much they spend on ICT

In the main report (the “School Survey Analytical Report”) it has an interesting analysis of ICT budgets, starting on Page 19 (Section 3.24). They asked school head teachers, from primary, secondary and special schools, to estimate what proportion of their total school budget they spent on ICT.

Although the report only shows the breakdown for each school type, the background table show the summary across all schools, which is what I’m going to use.

An astonishing(?) 33% didn’t know the answer to the question.

2. 44% of head teachers say they spend more than 5% of their budget on ICT

  • For primary schools - 41%
  • For secondary schools - 53%.

After taking out the “Don’t Know” category (which have unhelpfully been included in Becta’s breakdown), you end up with the following profile, for all schools responding to the question:

“Please indicate what percentage of your overall budget spend is on ICT”

Proportion of budget spent on ICT Percentage of schools
1-5% 56%
6-10% 24%
11-15% 9%
15%+ 11%
Which leads me to What I Learned This Week factoid number 3

3. 11% of head teachers say that they spend more than 15% of their budget on ICT

Surprised? I am. I simply don’t believe it. An average school spends 75% – 80% of the school budget on staff, so even if there are a few exceptions that have made massive investments in ICT this year, it still wouldn’t get us to 11% of all schools.

I suspect the answer is that perhaps in their head, most of those saying above 10% read the question as being about their resources budget, rather than their whole school budget. And the other data published on school ICT spend doesn’t support 15%+