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BETT LEADERS SPONSORED BYBETT LEADERS 23OPINION Aligning ICT investment withimproved learning outcomes: What leaders need to know It is almost received wisdom that the use of ICT will transform teaching and learning and that the only limiting factor is cost. Some believe that by spending our increasingly tightened budgets on innovative products our classrooms will be enhanced to such a degree that learning outcome levels will increase beyond recognition(or a least the targets we have published with Governors and expected by RaiseOnline).There is a considerable evidence base that this is indeed possible. However, educational research repeatedly throws up fi ndings that suggest the impact of ICT on teaching and learning can be 'patchy' at best and unproven at worst, irrespective of the capital expenditure. This appears largely due to schools being unclear or vague about what they expect the ICT investment to do. Successful use of ICT does not have a correlation with the amount spent; it's not how much you spend, but how and why you spend it. Certainly key constraints for teachers are availability and reliability (and one could argue that both these are costly), however the most signifi cant factors in achieving success in the teaching and learning environment with ICT are strategic leadership and staff professional development. No surprises there, as is largely the case in every other quest for school improvement. Schools need to understand where the use of ICT fi ts into their own school improvement process. All stakeholders need to be aware of these expectations, CDP (and possibly performance management) needs to be structured and planned. Only then should these programmes be resourced at the appropriate level.David Haw, Deputy Headteacher, Oxclose Community School

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