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UK schools face IT budget cuts in 2010

Schools in the UK are facing ICT budget cuts during 2010, a survey claims.

More than 80% of schools will have their ICT budgets cut over the coming year and budgetary cuts are the number one concern of 84% of schools, the research claims.

James Bird, chief executive at The Stone Group, which commissioned the research, said, "2010 will undoubtedly result in cost cutting that will affect both the quality of current ICT and any chance of undertaking continual improvement."

An increasing number of pupils need online resources for work in and out of school but only 14% of schools offer out-of-hours tech support, the survey reveals.

Some 93% of schools provide their internal network management as well as 91% internal desktop management. Application support is self controlled by 90% of schools and server management is handled by 87%.

Half of schools use external providers for any of their ICT services. Some 15% outsource to a third party provider; 22% use externally managed services; 19% are leasing rather than purchasing and only 27% are using open source.

Bird said, "Budget cuts are an inevitability in 2010, but it's clear from this research that schools and colleges are not currently following what is occurring elsewhere in the public sector by considering the use of external resources to maximise the quality of service delivery on the available budget."

Less than half of all schools meet government standards in online security and physical network security. This means the security of data on students could be compromised as well as their online work accessed by outside sources, said The Stone Group.

The Stone Group specialises in the supply and support of ICT to many governmental departments, including; schools, universities and the NHS.


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