So last week I was called in to school, where I am on the governing body, for a finance meeting to discuss the budget for the next 5 years. It wasn’t an easy meeting and even though the team have done a fantastic job of making the books balance there are tough choices to make. ICT for Schools Technology is not top of the list when you are looking at where to spend your limited funds so how are you going to build it in?
There looks to be a number of ways that you can make the money go further and definitely the big technology companies are stepping up. Google have announced in the last week an iPad trade-in scheme where schools can get up to £120 for their older iPads when buying a Chromebook. This means a brand new Chromebook for school would cost around £30, partners like YourCloudWorks have been quick to get this out to schools in planning for the summer.
HP have also started their subscription program which allows schools to rent technology instead of having to pay outright for the devices. This means it is far easier to build an ICT technology budget that is fixed and delivers from day one what you need to transform your teaching. The cost of renting is often cheaper than buying outright in a 3 year rolling program, so definitely worth looking at.
We are looking at a number of ways of supporting schools in being able to deliver the technology they want to their students today. Whether it is parental contribution, funding, subscription or trade-in schools are going to have to box clever over the next few years with the squeeze on budgets coming!