Friday, 13 August 2010

Free Schools and Trends in Educational Budgets for Technology in Schools

This makes interesting reading for anyone looking at trends with respect to "how we do school" and "how we spend on school".

Opening opportunities for people to create state funded independent schools (Free Schools) in the UK allows authentic community participation collaboration creativity in the education of learners in an increasingly connected age. Mash up your own school. It seems a natural next step in the "personalisation" of learning process and in engaging communities in becoming actively involved in the education of their young people.

However, it is creating controversy not least of which is associated with how it is being funded.

A government decision to raid school IT budgets will have a “catastrophic” impact on education and risks leaving schools in serious financial difficulty, experts have warned.

Ministers have decided to double the amount of money being taken out of the key “harnessing technology” fund to £100 million, in part to finance their controversial free schools policy.

The move comes just weeks after Education Secretary Michael Gove said he planned to take only £50 million away from the initiative, which pays for new computers and broadband connections.

The decision follows the axing of the Building Schools for the Future programme, which provided state-of-the-art IT equipment for pupils, and the downfall of Becta, the schools’ technology agency.

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