For selected schools, incorporating ed-tech into their rebuild is a key to maximizing the future
The UK government has selected a further 239 schools and colleges to be renovated under the school rebuilding program, bringing the total number up to 400 out of the 500 that the government announced would be upgraded when the program was announced in 2021.
Those nominated were prioritized based on how immediately the improvement was needed, and some of the schools given funding in the first round of selections are already nearing completion.
The upgrades focus on providing more energy-efficient learning environments and modernizing classrooms and sports halls to make them fit for the 21st century.
Gillian Keegan, the Education secretary, said: “Education is a top priority for this Government. That is why, despite facing challenging economic circumstances, we are investing a record amount in our schools and colleges. Today’s announcement will transform hundreds of schools across the country and ensure they are fit for the future.
The additional funding, alongside fantastic new facilities, will mean our brilliant teachers can get on with what they do best – and inspire the next generation.”
Why is this important?
Rebuilding means that the selected schools have an opportunity not only to create a safer environment for their students but also to create a more effective digital infrastructure to really maximize learning opportunities.
While a good number of private schools have now incorporated technology into teaching, many poorer state schools have lacked both the funds and the infrastructure to implement ed-tech effectively. This is important, because, as SMART technologies reported, top-performing schools are far more likely to have the technological capability in comparison to low-performing ones.
Is this funding enough?
It is no secret that schools have been severely underfunded for a decade, and while the school rebuilding program has been a welcome step for those selected, there will still be many schools that are at risk of closure due to at least one of their blocks having structural issues or flood risks.
The funding gap is still growing. Over the past decade, schools have received the least funding for building upkeep per meter squared than any public buildings in the UK, and more generally, there are fears that 90% of schools will run out of money next year.
All of this impacts class sizes. As budgets are cut, schools are forced to increase them in order to save money. This usually leads to a less personalized learning experience for students, as well as a more difficult work environment for teachers, many of whom plan to quit the profession due to stress.
The selected schools have more opportunities to think about how they can incorporate technology into their students’ learning. While there are many aspects that go into a thriving school environment, it is increasingly accepted that advances in ed-tech can not only help schools and teachers work more efficiently, but also diversify students learning.
E-spaces have one such tool that can make a difference in both teachers’ and students’ lives. Its easy-to-use app is the first in-lesson assessment implement that stores data, which not only helps them engage with each lesson and receive instant feedback but also helps identify trends in performance, which can help ensure they don’t fall behind in attainment. Follow this link to find out more.