“Lockdown was the kick we needed to get on and do what we had been talking about for over a year.”
Wise words from one school in Reading, which – like so many in this country – knew what they wanted their school to be like in the future but were always thwarted by something more important getting in the way. The pandemic changed all that, crystallising many plans, forcing schools to respond almost overnight to ensure their pupils continued to receive the education they deserved.
With so much gained over the last 15 months – knowledge, experience, belief – where do you go from here? Is the job done, or is this just the start? Did your school leap into action when so many school gates closed in March last year, or did you get by on a combination of good planning, adrenalin and a heavy dose of luck?
“Our servers were eight or nine years old and were getting full, yet no one knew what was on there. Technology had moved on, but we hadn’t. Whilst everything worked, it was more by luck than judgement. We simply did not have an IT strategy.”
Honest words from the governor of a school in Northamptonshire that is, perhaps, not unique. How is your IT strategy looking? How did the pandemic change the way you consider technology? Is IT now something that governors and parents take an active interest in?
Research by RM earlier this year suggests that they may be, with 61% of parents believing their perceptions of their school’s technology changed due to lockdown, with almost two-thirds concerned that their child’s school is unprepared for future disruptions, such as local lockdowns, snow days, fires or other school closures.
“The pace of change over the last 10 years has been staggering. Teaching and learning have been transformed, as has our record-keeping and administrative functions. Using IT intelligently and effectively has undoubtedly given teachers more time to concentrate on teaching and the progress of our pupils.”
The view of a school in Manchester. Are your teachers able to collaborate online no matter where they are, are their lessons interactive, and lesson planning and marking a burden or a breeze? Technology can play a key role in enhancing pupils’ learning experience whilst alleviating teacher workloads.
The challenge comes with whether others think you have made the strides you may believe you have. The RM research found that whilst three-quarters of parents believed technology can improve learning outcomes for their children, 70% felt their child’s school’s past use of technology was insufficient for future teaching needs.
“Anything we can do to prepare children earlier for what lies ahead has to be a good thing – and that includes their exposure to technology.”
As this school in Oxfordshire identifies, the remit of a school goes beyond the curriculum that is taught. Whether that is ensuring your pupils are competent with the software packages they will need when they graduate from your establishment, or giving them exposure to computer systems that encourage collaboration, online research and digital submission of assignments – these are the skills that will set your pupils apart from their peers.
Let us help you be part of this revolution
With a heritage dating back 48 years, RM supports thousands of schools, teachers and pupils across the globe – from pre-school to higher education – including examination boards, central governments and other professional institutions. Through our innovative use of existing and emerging technologies we have one purpose: to enrich the lives of learners.
Because we only work in the education sector, we understand how schools really work, bringing our breadth of expertise to your unique setting, so that you always remain in charge, because we – more than many – recognise that no one is better placed to know what your school community needs better than you.
Please download our new guide, ‘Giving you a position of strategic advantage’, to gain valuable insights and ideas from heads, bursars and governors, alongside our experiences from working with schools like yours: www.rm.com/strategic-advantage
Alternatively, contact us today by emailing email@example.com or calling 08450 700 300 to find out how we can help