Gaining IT skills While there are concerns that some of the students’ skills will not have developed at the
EdTech has played a central role in supporting blended learning, something we envision will be in place for the foreseeable future. With this in mind, it is worth considering how these resources can also help quickly and effectively address the legacies of Covid-19 same rate as their peers during the pandemic, education technology has shown that there is a range of new skills that students have rapidly acquired, including IT and computing skills, creativity, online communications and critical thinking. These are all essential skills for preparing students for their future careers. So, while there is no doubt that some skills may have fallen behind as a result of the pandemic, there are other skills that have increased which are important for the learners of 2021. Schools will need to find ways to incorporate developing these new skills into the curriculum moving forward. The year ahead holds many challenges for the education sector but there are beacons of hope from the last year including the amazing resilience of pupils and teachers and the unlocked potential of education technology. From 1-2-1 device rollouts to virtual classrooms, sharing best practice and
There will not be a one-size-fits-all approach and the requirements will be different for every student and school based on a range of factors including the regularity of access to a laptop, computer or tablet. Schools will therefore need to look at and personalise learning and interventions for each student. Education technology can facilitate this process, playing a vital part in helping schools to track, monitor and assess attainment on an individual basis and across the board to create a baseline through effective spot testing at secondary level and recording observations at primary level. Until baseline tests are conducted and teachers have time to reflect and review lessons learned, the true extent of the attainment gap is not known. EdTech will also be a critical tool in supporting students to close the attainment gap. For example, secondary schools can use AI (artificial intelligence) to support personalised learning and retrieval practice while primary schools can create additional online resources that children can use at weekends or holidays. Some schools may also use the catch-up fund from the government to purchase additional teaching resources for extra tutoring. There are a whole host of education programmes that can enhance engagement and support learning through non-traditional methods such as Minecraft or Sim City that help do develop additional skills such as critical thinking.
progress tracking apps, EdTech has the power to play a key role in solving the challenges of wellbeing and the attainment gap. However, digital technology will need to be understood and implemented correctly to work effectively. Many schools will require a combination of tools and programmes to overcome their hurdles and achieve their goals and will need to work closely with expert organisations and education technology providers to do so. EdTech could transform the way teachers deliver lessons and open the door to a much more creative and stimulating way of learning for pupils - schools just need education leaders and government funding to unlock the way. L
Al Kingsley is chair of a multi-academy trust, author, group managing director of NetSupport, speaker and member of Forbes Technology Council.
Supporting ‘E- Governance’ – Governor Development by BMS School
As an independent business management consultant, I have worked with over thirty governing bodies during a twentyyear career. I am also chair of governors at my local primary school, currently in my seventh year as a governor. In the year prior to the pandemic, I had started working on a governor training and development programme in an attempt
to improve the experience of governance. The idea came about following an inevitable moment during a September meeting where link roles and governor responsibilities were being distributed. ‘Right, so who wants to be health and safety governor?’ Who in their right mind would volunteer for this? Most people have no idea what the role would entail let alone how they would go about managing and having an impact. Yes, there is information available through certain governor support packages or through the National Governor Association and the Local Authority offer training, but it’s all very dry and can appear daunting and/or intimidating. The development programme includes a set of pre-written termly tasks for each of the Link roles, detailing suggested tasks, questions and who to speak to. This meant that whoever took on the role was given a definitive steer on what to do in three visits across the academic year. By completing the pre-written sheet they were able to evidence their involvement and feedback at governor meetings. What I didn’t realise at the time was how invaluable this would become during school closures. Governors could continue their involvement by completing the tasks with school staff via email, virtual meetings or by telephone.
The link roles fit into the wider Governor Development Programme which includes: Governor Development Plan – a set of priorities linked to the School Development Plan and Governor Skills Audit. Governor Development Meeting - a separate summer term meeting to set priorities for the for the coming year. Governors Annual Schedule - a schedule of meetings, governor visits, school activities along with a checklist of Governor responsibilities spread across the year. Link Governor Tasks – as previously mentioned.
Paul Jackson is managing director of BMS Schools Ltd, providing consultancy support for finance and governance. He also offers a mentoring program for finance governors, school business managers and head teachers wishing to improve their financial knowledge. For further information please contact Paul on the details below. FURTHER INFORMATION email@example.com 07757 061501
Issue 26.3 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Business Information for Education Decision Makers