A leading headteacher has said that schools should stop spending money on computers and tablet devices and spend the money on hiring 8,000 great teachers.
The amount of money schools spent on technology hit a new record in 2014, with each primary school spending over £14,000 and each secondary over £65,000 on software, hardware and technical support. By April this year, there will be an average of 429 devices in every UK school.
NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby has questioned whether the spending can “be justified at a time of austerity,” the Independent reports. Writing in a personal blog, he claimed that the quarter of a billion pounds spent on technology in schools every year would be enough to pay the wages of more than 8,000 teachers or build 40 new secondary schools.
Mr. Hobby is “dubious” about the use of technology as a teaching aid in non-IT lessons. “It is early days, of course, but an animated presentation on an electronic whiteboard or a lesson plan on an iPad are not transformative in terms of standards,” he believes.
His intervention was backed by Louis Coiffait from NAHT Edge. “Schools need to be able to decide which tools are best for their students, and support and develop their staff to use them. There’s no silver bullet, no revolution and no killer app,” he said. “Education is a long-term, messy and complicated business. At the very heart of it we need great teachers and principled leaders.”
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