Schools highlight urgent need for teacher CPD in EdTech in major BESA report

  • BESA’s survey of 1,325 ICT leaders in UK schools reveals the key ICT challenge they face is training teachers adequately in the use of ICT resources
  • Half of teachers are considered to be in need of training in e-safety issues, and digital content training requirements in primary schools are expanding
  • Pupils now spend over 50% of their time engaging with ICT in the classroom
  • Broadband access in primary schools remains severely limited, with only 44% saying they are “well resourced”

With the Bett Show, the world’s largest education technology exhibition, opening this Wednesday at London ExCeL, the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), which represents over 400 UK-based education suppliers, today revealed the findings of its flagship annual ICT research report, undertaken by the National Education Research Panel (Nerp).

The report finds that there is a clear requirement for training for teachers in all areas of ICT. Some 57% of primary and 61% secondary teachers named this as their key ICT challenge over the next 12 months.

Key findings include:

  • 51% of primary school teachers, and 49% of secondary school teachers are seen to require training in e-safety issues.
  • 51% of primary school teachers are seen to need training in using assessment solutions.
  • Training requirements in the use of digital content is expanding in primary schools and has increased from 39% in 2015 to 43% in 2016.
  • On average primary school pupils spend 53.7% of their time engaging with ICT in the classroom, as do 55.5% of secondary school pupils.
  • Concerns around the security of data is the main barrier preventing schools from moving to cloud-based solutions.
  • There are an estimated 906,596 computers in UK schools that are deemed ineffective due to condition, age or specification.
  • The average ICT budget for a primary school is forecast to be £13,800 in 2017/18 and £58,230 for secondaries. This is a year-on-year decline of -4% and -7% respectively.

BESA’s research also finds that more than half of primaries do not have adequate broadband. Only 44% of primary ICT leaders said their schools were “currently well resourced” with broadband, compared with 97% of secondary schools.

Caroline Wright, Director General, BESA said:

On CPD: “As will be evident in abundance at the Bett Show, EdTech has tremendous transformative potential to drive up standards of education in classrooms globally. And with UK pupils now spending over 50% of classroom time engaging with ICT, it is imperative that teachers are able to get the training that they need in order to best utilise digital resources. Not least at a time when, regrettably, budgets are tightening.”

On e-safety: “Nowhere is this more important than in the area of e-safety, which now permeates all aspects of the school. It is vitally important that CPD in this area – from data security to dealing with cyber bullying – is readily available.”

On broadband: “The majority of primary schools in the country evidently still have serious difficulty accessing adequate levels broadband, and this is a major issue that needs to be addressed if we are serious about pupils acquiring the skills they need to enter into the increasingly digital workplace. However we at BESA are greatly encouraged by the serious attention the DFE’s EdTech team are giving to this issue, and the fact that many schools say the situation will improve over the next year can be seen as significant progress.”

David Weston, CEO of the Teacher Development Trust, said:

“Teachers do need more support on how to use the technology within schools. However, it needs to be more than how to operate the system. Teachers need ongoing support in using the technology to genuinely support what they need to teach and what students need to learn. We need to help technology support and transform learning, not use gadgets for gadgets’ sake.”

Mark Chambers, CEO of Naace, says:

“The BESA Report is an excellent source of intelligence that can help providers better prepare themselves to support schools in making an effective investment in Education Technology. The Naace community highly recommends it to your attention.”

“There is significant evidence within the data of the BESA Report, corroborated by the findings of Naace members ‘on the ground’, that we have two kinds of schools, those helping young people capitalise on the educational opportunities of the internet and those resisting it tooth and nail. Central leadership on the importance of ICT in schools is sorely lacking, leading to far too many considering ICT a dispensable spend when it is in reality the key to much more effective teaching and learning.

The analysis of Naace members of the responses contained within the BESA Report, suggest that it is regrettable that schools have still not learned that thoughtful investment in Education Technology can actually either save money, or give better outcomes for the same spend.  In the experience of our members this is now beyond debate and we have captured for schools how they might access these benefits in our School Leadership eGuide ‘8% Budget Cuts and More – how schools are being reshaped for a connected world’.”


Copies of the report and data tables are available to journalists upon request and BESA’s directors and a wide range of members are available for comment. To discuss this story further, contact: Mark Rosser mark@besa.org.uk / +44(0)20 7537 4997

About BESA:

BESA, the British Educational Suppliers Association, is the trade association covering the entirety of the UK educational suppliers sector. It operates on a not-for-profit basis, and is accountable to an Executive Council that is elected by member companies.

It has an 80-year heritage serving the UK education sector, and represents over 400 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and EdTech to the education market.

BESA has a Code of Practice to which all members must adhere, along with a stringent membership process, both of which assure schools of a high standard of quality.

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