This year, the education landscape has been entirely disrupted. But with the schools around the country now welcoming the majority of students back, it’s a pivotal time in strategy setting.
Priorities around health and safeguarding may have accelerated for many, but the overall goals remain similar — attainment and results are still schools’ number one priority. This is perhaps unsurprising: pupils’ learning progress and their achievements should come first, but has the road to achieving them changed since lockdown?
In our annual report, we’ve assessed who is integral to strategy setting and whether it is a collaborative process in most schools.
Who is involved in your strategic planning?
Unsurprisingly, headteachers continue to play the lead role in strategy setting: that’s according to 76% of educators.
However, fewer than 40% of respondents tell us that planning is a collaborative project. It’s a task that remains largely with headteachers only. Of all school staff, teachers feel least involved in their school’s strategy — 35% provide input, but almost 60% have no say whatsoever.
Is there sufficient visibility on final strategies?
So, leading and crafting school strategies sits squarely with head teachers or the wider SLT. But are the strategic goals then disseminated to school staff once an action plan has been finalised?
According to Glenn Carter, History Lead at Ingleby Mill Primary School, teachers are being consulted to an appropriate amount. He feels confident that his school is moving forward rather than looking backwards.
At the same time, our data indicates confusion amongst school staff whether a strategic plan even exists in their schools.
After the disruptions to education this year, and the growing reliance of collaboration and support to keep pupils learning, it might be time to switch up the process. Perhaps it’s time for more schools to facilitate feedback and elicit input to ensure all staff can provide potential insight on how goals are met, going forward.
Are IT managers missing from your school strategy?
Educators’ eyes have been opened to the true potential of technology since lockdown. Our research shows that school leaders increasingly want to improve collaboration and student engagement with tech, this year. At the same time, teachers have increased their tech skill sets and IT managers have provided essential support to keep schools operating. They could have valuable input on how to achieve these objectives this year.
Indeed, BESA has identified that primary and secondary schools are identifying renewed
pressure on provision of computer access for pupils, while also showing some pressure on devices for teachers. Access to digital content has held up even though greater access has been required this year.
So, this presents an opportunity for schools — why not ask teachers to identify the tools and training they think will deliver the best learning outcomes? Gather insights from IT managers to provide input on the best tools that will achieve these goals. With a collaborative approach, schools could work together to meet more wider objectives.
Take a look at the full report for more insights from 2020/21 in our newly released State of Technology in Education report.
The State of Technology in Education Report 2020/21
Our latest and greatest report is here! 5 years of edtech trends, surprising stats and candid insights from over 2,000 educators.View the report