Published Thursday 13th February 2020

The way education is delivered has changed remarkably over the last decade. Where once technology in the classroom was seen as an extra, in modern education, it is becoming increasingly commonplace. Nowadays, many providers rely on various technologies to deliver the level of teaching expected.

While technology has undeniably helped improve education services, there are still many institutions that are not able to realise their potential, widening the gap in service quality across the country. As technology continues to evolve, its role in education will only become more critical, and everyone must work to ensure all students can reap its benefits.

The Growing Importance of Technology in UK Education

In early 2020, Promethean released the fourth iteration of its annual State of Technology in Education Report, which surveyed over 2,000 education providers across the UK. Their report asked a range of questions about the current state of UK education and technology’s present and future role. The findings highlighted the short-term growth that technology has experienced.

According to the study, 82.7% of educators believe that tech helps them do their job more effectively. Meanwhile, 18% said that their school saw updating technology as a critical focus in the coming year, up from 15% in the previous year.

Other results from the survey can also be linked to the increasing importance of technology implementation. The study found that 34% of respondents saw providing more creative learning experiences as a priority, an increase from just 17% two years ago.

New learning strategies also recorded a similar priority score of 32%. Both of these factors can be influenced by the implementation of technology in the learning process. Nearly 90% of educators believe technology is a great way to engage students, an increase from just 32% in 2017/18.

Overcoming the Technology Barrier in Education

Looking forward, 40% of respondents believe technology will impact education this year and beyond, up from just 18% in last year’s survey. However, the report also unearthed a range of obstacles that education providers must look to clear before it can be effectively implemented.

As technology evolves, so must the abilities of those implementing it every day. According to the survey, only 16.5% of respondents believe they receive adequate edtech training and support, down from 55% three years ago. The report also notes that respondents regarding training as a priority have declined over the last year, from 31% to just 13%.

Only 1.8% of teachers surveyed believe that technology training is a priority at their school. However, teachers were also the least likely group of respondents to suggest that training was a key priority for the year ahead.

One of the biggest obstacles facing teachers currently is their increasing workload. 81% of teachers surveyed said that teacher workload was contributing to stress in their school, while 71% say it is already negatively impacting learning. At a time when the pressures on teachers are increasingly severe, many look to simplify their workload and avoid introducing too many new technologies that could benefit in the longer term.

Infrastructure also plays a role in how much technology schools can implement. Recent political debates regarding broadband and 5G mobile connections shine a light on an increasing need to provide the necessary frameworks for technology implementation.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to new technologies, however, is budgetary restrictions. Spending on technology as a percentage of school budgets is set to notably increase, from just 4% last year to 15.5% this year. However, 46% still believe that not enough is being spent, the highest percentage for that response in the four years of the survey.

Unlocking School Potential

With technology set to become increasingly important over the next few years, schools need to look at how they can further introduce it in line with their current plans. However, budgetary restrictions threaten to hold some schools back.

Here at Expense Reduction Analysts, we’ve been supporting UK education institutions for many years and have witnessed first-hand the pressures being faced by the finances of UK schools. As a result, we offer school cost reduction services that ensure no risk for the education provider.

Our industry procurement specialists will help you save on your expenses and will only charge once savings have been realised; even then, the money will only be paid from that which would have been spent previously.

Securing best value from suppliers is key to supporting educational outcomes, making available additional funds which can be re-invested in things such as edtech for the benefit of students.

Areas of spending where we can help our clients achieve sustainable cost savings include stationery and office supplies, photocopiers, energy, water/
wastewater, facilities management/maintenance and IT.

If you are interested in discovering how our specialists can unlock funds in your budget, why not speak to our friendly team today?