In any profession it is important to scan areas tangential to your own – see what is on the horizon, develop your learning. So this week rather than talk about the things you need to do now, I thought I would bring to your attention a couple of things that I found interesting.
Concerns for the Coming Year:
Research amongst Academy Finance Directors suggests that the five areas that concern them most about the coming year are:
- Difficulties in creating medium term development plans for teaching and learning in their academies when there is uncertainty around per pupil funding
- Being able to secure capital resources to meet future pupil accommodation needs at their academy
- How to create shared service teams (back offices) to support and advise a number of individual academy schools
- The importance of presenting financial information in a readily accessible format; as we have seen in the latest Handbook, public scrutiny and transparency are key drivers
- The recruitment and retention within the Academy of good finance staff, particularly an issue in areas where the labour market is improving and competition from within and outside the sector pushes up salaries
Whilst the research was conducted amongst Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), many academies and schools within the maintained sectors are likely to share these concerns. How will you address the needs within your establishment?
For further information about the research visit click here.
Bring Your Own Device
I learnt a new acronym today – BYOD. Maybe it says something about my technology prowess that I hadn’t heard of it sooner (I understand it was first used by Intel in 2009) – but with the new Computing Curriculum and the costs of keeping technology up to date, allowing staff and pupils to ‘Bring Your Own Device’ has a certain appeal.
Whether it’s a computer, tablet or phone proponents suggest that amongst the advantages are:
- Using devices that pupils and staff are familiar with helps to promote wider digital literacy
- Personal devices are more likely to be upgraded and keep pace with change
- Money freed up in school budgets can be used to support the wider curriculum needs of all pupils and ensure that less affluent pupils can be provided with the latest technology
- Sharing knowledge between devices supports pupil to pupil and pupil to teacher collaboration
There are though counter claims and concerns about e-safety – and this is clearly an area where there will be further debate both within the sector and within individual schools. However, as you prepare 3 or 5 year plans this is clearly an area that must be considered.
At School Business Services our ICT Team not only help with maintaining infrastructure, but they have also developed a programme to assist schools in thinking about delivery of the new Computing Curriculum and maintaining E-Safety. Support can be provided in Scratch, Lego WeDo, Kodu and Appshed programmimg; the use of online tools to promote collaboration and eSafety training. Call us on 0845 300 8179 or follow us on Twitter @SBS_ICT
If you want to know more about the impact of the Computing Curriculum in schools click the following links:
Secondary Schools: http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/data/uploads/cas_secondary.pdf
And remember, the first time you heard the acronym ILANAT ( I Learnt A New Acronym Today) was today!