Schools with broadband connectivity have improved academic results, schools minister Nick Gibb has admitted, despite an earlier statement that the government is to cut technology funding for schools.
Asked in a parliamentary question what assessment the government has made of the contribution of ICT and broadband to supporting educational activities, Gibb said that broadband can improve results and motivation in the learning environment.
He said: “Schools which make use of broadband connectivity are found to have improved academic results and increased learner motivation compared to those which do not make use of this technology.”
But he emphasised that technology alone does not guarantee educational success. Gibb said: “Evidence shows that technology has a positive impact on learning and broader outcomes when it is used as part of good teaching practice.”
But the government has indicated it is to reduce funding for ICT in schools.
In September, Gibb told the House of Commons that the government’s Harnessing Technology grant would be reduced by £100m in the current financial year.
The grant was set up for schools to “harness technology” like computers and the internet.
£50m of this reduction has been used to provide capital for “Free Schools”, Gibb said.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers told Publicservice.co.uk: “It is wrong to divert scarce resources from existing projects to fund the untried and untested Free Schools programme.”