Message from the Principal: iPads

Over the past three years we have been trialling the use of iPads in school. The iPads were deployed as one-to-one devices. Since September I have been evaluating the impact of these devices on teaching and learning and outcomes for students.

I have also assessed the level of parental contributions, damages, inappropriate use and the additional costs that it takes to have an infrastructure to run nearly 2000 devices, whether they are iPads, laptops or computer suites.

I have engaged and listened to all stakeholders connected to the school.

A major factor in this process has been the budget concerns for all schools. All schools are being forced to operate more efficiently, reduce costs and make difficult decisions.

I am a firm believer that the relationship between adults and students makes the biggest difference in a child’s education. I have therefore decided to remove the iPads from a one-to-one solution to an in house system – 650 classroom based iPads that students can access during lessons.

iPads will still be available for use everyday and will be a tool to enhance teaching and learning. Examinations in the future will require high levels of SPaG and extended writing, therefore they need to be at the heart of every lesson.

I’m currently working with the finance company to find a way where students, through a parental contribution, will be offered the opportunity to keep their device – but this will become clearer in the coming weeks. In this case, these iPads will be for home use only. I believe this price will be between £70 and £85.

The provision of 650 iPads, three Apple Mac suites and five well equipped ICT rooms, demonstrates my commitment to digital learning in a way that is sustainable.

Having reviewed the impact of the iPads and taking into account budget changes and staffing needs, I firmly believe that this decision is in the best interest of the school as a whole.

Richard Baker, Principal