BESA releases ‘Tablets and connectivity’ research

Tablet use in schools continues to rise as barriers to adoption shift, new research from the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has revealed.

The annual ‘Tablets and Connectivity’ survey of 632 UK schools (335 primary, 297 secondary), conducted in June 2015, suggests that 71 per cent of primary and 76 per cent of secondary schools (an increase from 56 per cent in 2014 in both school types) are making use of tablets in the classroom. Currently, there are estimated to be 721,000 tablets for use by pupils in classrooms across UK maintained schools and academies, and it is forecast that by the end of 2016 this number will have increased to over 946,000.

This upward trend appears to be continuing with 15 per cent of schools suggesting that they will have 1:1 access to tablet technology by 2016 and 44 per cent of schools having one tablet per child by 2020.

The research also showed that a lack of suitable bandwidth remains a significant barrier to adoption of mobile technologies.

Research carried out in May 2014 revealed that schools in rural areas of the UK have poor access to mobile technologies due to inadequate bandwidth.

Schools have noted little improvement over the past year with only three percent more primary schools, 53 per cent, feeling that they have the ideal bandwidth (up from 50 per cent last year) and 65 per cent of secondary schools feel the same (up from 62 per cent in 2014).

Today’s research also suggests that 88 per cent of primary schools regard the management and security of tablets as a significant barrier to adoption. In secondary schools the barriers to adoption, in order of significance, are training and support (91 per cent), funding (83 per cent) and management and security (83 per cent).

Caroline Wright, director, BESA said; “Today’s research shows there is an opportunity for teaching schools, school leadership organisations and industry to work with schools to help them understand how they can utilise tablet technology to its full potential, and integrate tablets as learning tools into the classroom.

“It is disappointing to see so many schools still struggling with Wi-Fi and broadband connectivity issues. With nearly half of schools reporting poor connectivity we run the risk of failing to equip our young people with the essential digital skills that they need for their future careers. More needs to be done to improve Wi-Fi and broadband connectivity in our schools.”

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About BESA

BESA, the British Educational Suppliers Association, is the trade association representing over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and digital-content related services to the education market.

With 82 years of experience, BESA offers unparalleled support, research, events and advice on both UK and International markets, and the future of the education supplies industry.  BESA is focused on promoting and providing support and advice to their members, the industry and to schools.

BESA has a Code of Practice to which all members must adhere, along with a stringent membership process, both of which assure buyers of a high standard of quality in both product and customer service.

For more information, please visit www.besa.org.uk.

For further press information contact:

Sue Murray
Mango Marketing
T: 01932 829 077   
E: sue.murray@mangomarketing.com

For information from BESA contact:

Caroline Wright
BESA
T: 020 7537 4997  
E: caroline@besa.org.uk