Schools shift spending focus away from computing, research shows

School spending on materials for computing has gone down for a second year in a row across both primary and secondary sectors.

The subject saw a spike two years ago, just ahead of the subject being introduced to the new curriculum last year.

But spending has now fallen on materials for the subject, particularly among secondary schools where the focus on purchasing has dropped by 24 percentage points since 2014/15 at key stage 4.

This is despite the number of students taking computing at GCSE increasing substantially, with a 53 per cent increase in candidates sitting the subject on the year before.

At key stage 2, computing has also seen a drop in priority when it comes to purchasing materials, with a 7 per cent decrease on 2014/15.

The research, published by the British Education Suppliers Association, also reveals that both sectors are planning to shift spending away from ICT hardware.

“In 2016/17, schools are more likely to focus spending on software and digital content,” the report states.

“Secondary schools expect a positive shift in CPD and training, which comes at the expense of ICT hardware and furniture.”

The figures reveal a major disparity in priorities toward ICT equipment between the primary and secondary sectors, with just 20 per cent of primary schools viewing it as a main concern, as opposed to 57 per cent of secondaries.

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