By 2013, more than one in 10 primary schools say pupils will be using ICT for more than 90 per cent of their lesson time, new figures from the British Educational Suppliers Association have revealed.
The figure includes not only computer use, but also time spent being taught using interactive whiteboards, which are now ubiquitous in primaries. The corresponding figure on pupil use of ICT in secondaries is lower because these whiteboards are not so widely used.
In about 42 per cent of secondaries, pupils use ICT more than half the time, compared with 49 per cent of primaries.
The survey goes on to show that, by 2013, the balance in primaries will tip towards ICT use, so that 51 per cent of schools will spend more than half their time exposed to ICT.
Investment in school ICT goes back to the mid-1960s, starting in further and higher education, but by the 1970s there were programmes such as Computers in the Curriculum. By 1980, the government provided half the funding for every secondary and then every primary to buy one computer. By 2010, there was, on average, one computer for every seven primary pupils and one for every three at secondary. Figures from the Harnessing Technology survey last year found that, as well as interactive whiteboards, desktop computers and digital cameras were the most common pieces of kit in schools.
The survey was based on 1,324 responses and found that nearly two-thirds of secondaries and half of primaries will not be able to maintain planned ICT spending in 2012, following a squeeze on ICT budgets. Helen Ward
1% of secondaries say government policy on ICT is clear and going in the right direction
59% of secondaries say: "What policy?"
29% say policy is unclear, but going in the wrong direction
11% say it is unclear, but looks to be on the right path.