Wesleyan Bank white paper highlights how schools can gain affordable access to EdTech

From standard classroom aids to specialist equipment and applications that enable greater inclusivity, schools have a fundamental need to keep pace with technology. In preparing next generations for a digital world and workplace, education institutions must overcome barriers to maximise pupils’ learning across all abilities, whilst continuing to attract pupils in an education sector that is increasingly competitive – not just for student populations, but also for funding.

Although the Government has pledged extra financial support for schools, major shortfalls remain which means educational establishments need to be strategic about how they use, and demonstrate a return on, their budgets. The challenge therefore confronting schools is how to ensure their modest and declining funds can deliver the most value for pupils. This is not an insignificant feat, given the widening array of digital options and the pressure on schools to stay relevant and respond to the way today’s children learn.

Technological tools set to transform teaching in 2018

While no teacher wants to compete with smart gadgets for pupils’ attention, the ideal scenario schools must work towards is one where technology works hand in hand with traditional teaching – to bring content to life, allow pupils to explore a subject further, or to keep children connected when they can’t be at school or are doing their homework.

Technology can help to make leaning fun too, for instance through ‘gamification’. In more specialist scenarios, newer technology such as virtual reality can bring locations and situations to life in ways that haven’t been possible without experiencing something first hand. The fact that children use technology so readily in their personal lives, and by choice, has resulted in high levels of acceptance as well as a growing expectation to continue this ‘mobile’ experience in school.

Wesleyan Bank’s new white paper, ‘Affordable Access to EdTech’, highlights the latest technology innovation in education as well as new improvements to established teaching tools, and the impact such aids can have.

Maintaining strategic technology spending in a climate of cutbacks

What has become very clear to school budget-holders is that Government funding cannot be relied upon to deliver the investment needed to sustain teaching facilities and keep pace with the latest technology opportunities and skills. This in turn is hampering their ability to meet targets associated with preparing children for the digital workplace, with relevant experience and interest in subjects in which they need to be proficient.

Without an alternative source of funding, schools are stuck. They must deliver progress, and they must stay secure and compliant with the latest regulations designed to protect sensitive data, and they must do this now.

An increasingly attractive option is to use flexible financing and leasing from trusted and specialist financial providers to the education sector – affordable spread payment options that have been specifically designed to help UK schools bridge the funding gap and source the equipment, skills and resource institutions need today.

Prioritising spending to maximise value

In the midst of all the changes facing education, technology is a critical enabler. It offers a window on the world for pupils wherever they are, and a means of inclusion for those who find learning more challenging. For teachers, the latest ICT enables greater efficiency, understanding as well as meeting the needs of pupils as individuals, and of capturing and interpreting evidence about outcomes.

Wesleyan Bank’s ‘Affordable Access to EdTech’ white paper sets out the risks schools need to guard against by maintaining ICT investment levels, before going on to provide practical advice about how schools can bridge the gap between available public funding and the amounts needed to keep their digital resources, security and skills current.

Whatever the Government’s funding strategy, and however limited education budgets remain for the next few years’, schools’ competitive differentiation, their results, and their compliance with new security requirements, depend on the ability to maintain investment levels, stay current and keep pace with accelerating technological developments.

With more tailored and flexible financing and leasing options, the good news is that schools do have another way to progress their plans.

About Wesleyan Bank

Wesleyan Bank, a member of the British Educational Suppliers Association, has a long track record of providing tailored finance solutions to schools to enable them to invest in the technologies and environments they need. We offer long-term flexible loans and provide asset finance solutions for ICT software and associated services, in addition to specialist equipment over periods typically ranging from 1-7 years.

We can also fund cloud-based technology acquisition, catering for subscription-based purchasing, in addition to IT related training and consultancy. In addition, we have developed a one-to-one funding programme to help schools and parents finance students’ personal learning devices that can be used inside and outside of the classroom.

For further information about Wesleyan Bank’s specialist IT finance solutions for educational establishments download the white paper ‘Affordable Access to EdTech’ here.

Alternatively, visit our website, call or email us.

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