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What makes a good ICT development plan?

ICT development plans should be embedded within the school development plan, rather than treated as a separate issue. Priorities within plans should, where possible reflect whole school issues. This is especially the case for the IT components that relate to whole school drives to raise standards of pupils education. The most effective school ICT development plans are those which establish a clear educational vision for the future (at least the next 3 years) and are based on a careful analysis of the present picture. It is important that ICT within schools are regularly reviewed and that schools have an appropriately strong evidence base for determining developmental priorities. The vision should recognise the potential breadth of application of ICT, but should not be driven by the technology. It is important to always ask the question why are we doing this? when decisions are made to implement new technologies or to upgrade existing hardware and software. Priorities should be outcome related rather than related in inputs and processes. Effective plans have measurable targets, with clear operational actions to reach these targets. They are actively monitored and progress is evaluated in the light of developments. They are also detailed, showing short and long-term targets, costs and a commitment to developing ICT across the whole school. In particular, an ICT development plan should address how the school will: raise standards of pupils achievement in IT and the standards of the application of ICT across the curriculum.

maintain and develop the infrastructure of hardware and connectivity in a way that is sustainable and relevant without distracting teachers from their teaching ensure that the infrastructure enables staff to access valuable content the information and resources for teaching and administration, including tools for planning, assessment and recording as well as productivity tools and curriculum materials. The effective use of ICT for school management and reduction of administrative burdens should also be examined. develop and sustain practice, including ongoing staff training in both skills and curriculum development such as the progressive integration of ICT into schemes of work.

Given ICTs far-reaching impact on teaching, learning, management, administration and budgets, it is important that the planning process involves staff and governors. Ideally, there should be a proactive and inclusive leadership group for ICT which meets regularly and constantly pushes the planning process forward. A successful plan will also reflect national and local priorities. Staff and governors will therefore need to be aware of the priorities for ICT as articulated in the Schools Service ICT Strategy and Educational Strategic Plan (ESP). The ICT plan should, above all, focus on learning and management benefits, not ICT alone, just as the ultimate aim of the DoE investment is to raise educational standards and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teachers and schools. A school ICT plan is therefore a means to an end raised standards, ICT competent teaching, greater inclusion, and cost effective and efficient administration not an end in itself.

It should be: Credible, by:

being an integral part or reflective of, the school development plan building on current ICT use linking to school, district and government targets

Manageable, by: involving senior staff having an impact on individual subject planning being linked to pupil assessment and attainment accepting resource, staffing and budget limitations Sustainable, by: gaining the support of all stakeholders: teachers, senior staff, governors, parents and nonteaching staff being integrated into financial planning and budgeting procedures building in continuing professional development of staff including mechanisms to monitor impact and value for money

The areas that need to be addressed

This section sets out the key areas that should be addressed in the plan. As part of the School ICT Development Plan it should cover at least these specific areas: Philosophy and aims Curriculum aspects Management of ICT in the school Professional development of teachers and other staff

Hardware and software deployment Financial aspects Monitoring and review

The process of developing an ICT development plan

The ICT development planning process can be broken down into four elements:

The ICT audit and self-review: establishing where you are now Aims and objectives deciding where you want to be, by agreeing on a vision and setting targets The implementation plan designing a detailed action plan to achieve the aims with appropriate targets/performance indicators which are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic, Time-bound.) Evaluation monitoring progress to establish the extent to which the school has achieved its aims.