Do you *really* know what your school spends with ICT?

A short post today, partly in preparation for a longer review of the courses from the FITS Foundation, but mainly in response to Ray Fleming’s latest blog post.

One of the areas we covered on the FITS : Advanced course (also known as the FITS : Manager course) was about financial management … but, as with all of the areas covered, it was not dealt in isolation. For all of us on the course it was a good chance to look at all financial aspects which impact on IT / ICT in schools.

I’m not surprised that Ray has pointed out that 33% of headteachers could not state what percentage of their budget was spent on ICT … but I think that is more a reflection on the honesty of those headteachers and the complexity of what we are talking about.

Let us look at what we could include in this budget.

  • Desktops
  • Laptops
  • Servers
  • Peripherals (printers, cameras, scanners, etc)
  • Audio – Visual equipment (projectors, IWBs, speakers, DVD players, etc)
  • Consumables (toners, backup tapes, mice, etc)
  • Educational software
  • Contracted support
  • Network Infrastructure

And then you get into some things that people might not have initially included in this pot.

  • Broadband connection
  • Broadband / LA services (email, web filtering, etc)
  • Management Information Systems
  • Staffing
  • Reprographics (and perhaps the paper in the printers)
  • Telephony
  • CCTV

… and they might not have included things that individual departments buy from their own pot.

And what about the energy consumption … surely that should be included in the pot too.

So … I am actually surprised that it was only 33% who said they didn’t know, as I didn’t think the Becta survey quite drilled down as far as some of the above, but I will be suggesting to my local schools if they can use the above as the basis of their planning. It should help with those looking at virtualisation as an option which might help to reduce the energy consumption as well as helping to establish long term, sustainable plans for funding IT, or at least being able to manage the impact of some investment in refreshing equipment is put off for the next year or so.