Harnessing technology: schools survey 2008

Client: Becta | NFER Contact: Peter Rudd

While teachers are positive about the benefits and potential contribution of information and communications technology (ICT) to pupils’ learning, schools still need to make progress in their use of ICT. This is the main finding from the Harnessing Technology Schools Survey 2008, an annual, representative, national survey of ICT in primary, secondary and special schools. The survey was carried out by the NFER, on behalf of Becta, between December 2007 and January 2008.

The aim of the survey was to assess the ‘state of the nation’ in terms of uptake and impact of educational technologies in maintained schools across England. A key purpose of the survey was collect information that would assist Becta with assessing progress towards the aims and outcomes of the Harnessing Technology strategy and the Children’s Plan, and to make future strategic decisions based on the latest developments in ICT related to schools.

Overall, the findings of the survey indicated that the Harnessing Technology strategy has enabled schools and practitioners to make good progress through the adoption stage, but it seems that there are important barriers to be overcome before the ambition of ‘transformation’ through ICT can occur. The results of the survey highlighted that home access, the use of learning platforms and the use of ICT to support personalising learning were areas in which schools particularly could make further progress. Other key areas for progress include a need for schools and teachers to be supported and encouraged to use technology in ways which are more engaging for learners and to use ICT in more interactive ways when communicating with parents.

Time scale: August 2007 - September 2008

NFER Project Code: TSV

Research Reports/Findings