As discussed in a previous blog post, the Covid-19 pandemic meant that many MATs and schools had to implement ICT fixes at speed. Those who had a strong ICT Vision and Strategy in place were in a better position to do this; they could make decisions quickly in the context of what they knew they were already moving towards. Others had to make decisions and hope they weren’t storing up too many long term problems.
The case for an ICT Vision
Without a clear vision, a school’s ICT can become chaotic and confused. It means that ICT can be ‘buffeted’ around, subject to whatever is happening externally or internally. Decisions are made based on short-term, tactical gains or preferences (e.g. ‘Everyone needs a tablet so we have to implement that NOW’) rather than in consideration as to what it is moving everyone towards and if it is beneficial long term.
This approach then has a knock-on effect on teacher workflows, the student experience, and how well MAT and School leaders can actually run their schools.
We all know that we need to be able to react to events– but when you have an ICT Vision and Strategy you are reacting within parameters that allow you to still retain control and move forward, rather than make quick decisions and choices with reduced understanding about the long-term impact.
The warning signs you don’t have a good ICT Vision and Strategy
Often, a key warning sign is that school leaders are spending too much time discussing obstacles caused by their existing technology.
Typically, we’re approached by MAT and School leaders because they have noticed something concerning about their ICT or there has been an issue. As we move through an initial conversation with them, we often uncover that the root of the problems is a lack of strategic planning for their ICT.
The telling question is: ‘What is your ICT Vision?’
If you can’t produce a coherent, articulated vision for your ICT, then your ICT planning is probably going to be more ‘tactic by tactic’ or subject to fads / preferences / reactive than a step by step approach to achieve strategic goals.
Can this happen in MATs and Schools with good ICT Teams?
Yes. You might have a great ICT Team who are delivering the tactical ICT really well – keeping everything running, knowing how to fix things etc – but they might lack the skills to develop an ICT Vision and Strategy.
Ultimately, they will also get frustrated by the lack of strategic ICT leadership (even if they have tried to step up and fill it) as it will affect their ability to perform well. High turnover of ICT staff can be another indicator of not having a strong strategic approach to ICT.
It’s like teachers running a school while teaching classes; they might be the best teachers ever but school leadership requires additional skills and knowledge. It’s hard to leap from classroom teacher to school leader while still being in the classroom. Developing and setting an ICT Vision and Strategy is a skill that you might not have internally, even with a good ICT Team.
A good ICT Vision and Strategy ‘fits’
Good leaders in Trusts and schools have established their overall vision and goals.
Your ICT Strategy should clearly state how ICT will be used to deliver that business and education vision and its goals. It should fit very neatly with the overall strategic vision of the Trust or School.
Where do we start?
As ICT advisors to UK Education, we’ve worked with hundreds of schools and Trusts, helping them to develop ICT Visions that run in tandem with their strategic objectives.
We advise senior leaders to first look at the educational needs of their own organisation. This way, they can make ICT choices that are right for them.
Then we help them, through a series of collaborative workshops, focus groups and interviews with key people, develop an ICT Vision.
Typically, an ICT Vision covers these SIX areas:
- Strategy and leadership
- Teaching and learning
- Communication and collaboration
- Resources: systems
- Resources: services
- Safety and security
Find out more
Based on our extensive experience, we’ve written a Guide to Creating an ICT Vision.
Download this free Novatia Note today:
What happens next?
A Vision without an actionable plan is called a dream.
So, next you need to start taking the steps to make this ICT Vision a reality. The ICT Vision should always be developed with an ICT Strategy and have goals attached to it.
- experiencing problems or issues with your MAT or School’s ICT
- know you need to take a more strategic approach to ICT
- want to improve your current approach to ICT then get in touch. We can help. Phone us on 01962 832632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Our Webinar
Like to learn more? Andy Waring will be running a FREE webinar ''The Six Components of an ICT Vision for MATs and Schools', on Thursday 22 October 2020 12:30-13:00. For further details, as well as how to sign up, click here.
Let us help you ...
Alternatively, if you would like further help and would like to speak directly to us, get in touch either by phone on 01962 832632 or by email on email@example.com. We’d be happy to provide guidance.