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inspiring learning through technology

Our strategy & principles

Our strategy

Our strategy has evolved over the 15 years since we launched and our current strategy takes us from 2015 to 2020. The current strategy sees our focus on those children and schools that most need our help – those schools with the highest level of children qualifying for Pupil Premium support and those that struggle at the lower end of attainment.
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What we do and why:

Key principles

1. Access for all children

To support digital access for all children and particularly those whose circumstances adversely affect their ability to achieve their full educational potential. We believe that when children and young people are given the chance to reach their full potential, this impacts positively on their options for life.

2. Supporting teaching & learning

We believe that technology enabled learning, particularly when delivered through a 1:1 device access programme, has the capability to uplift learning for all children, to aid the closure of the attainment gap and encourage struggling learners to reach their full educational potential. There is compelling evidence demonstrating that personal access to a digital device also impacts positively on learning attitudes, confidence, wellbeing, behaviour and homework habits as well as preparing young people for an increasingly digital life. We will therefore support schools in introducing effective and sustainable programmes – where every child has their own device to allow learning  to take place at school and at home. We will do this as independent and experienced experts.

3. Sharing responsibility

We view good access to learning technologies as a shared responsibility, with schools and families each playing their roles. We will work through schools and families as the most effective route; ensuring that linking children with technology is done within an educational and supportive framework. In this way, we are also able to scale our work to impact larger numbers of children more quickly.

Current state – Context and environment

  • There are currently more than 500,000 children who lack personal devices and who are currently not connected to broadband at home. The reasons for being disconnected at home are numerous with poverty and a non-English speaking household being foremost.
  • The gap in attainment at age 7 is 31% percentage points between those children from the poorest and those from the wealthiest families.
  • Less than 10% of schools currently have anything approaching a 1:1 scheme

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Our objectives

1. Access for all children

We will work to ensure that, by 2020 no child, whose disadvantage affects their full development at school, will be without access to technology-enabled learning at school and at home.

We will focus on children whose disadvantage leads to their being unable to develop to their full educational potential – whatever the cause: poverty, disability or access. We believe that the best route to supporting these children is through their schools so that their learning is structured and sustainable. We will also find ways to support children at home.

Our focus will be on children of primary school age. As the attainment gap builds during early years to levels where it becomes difficult for secondary schools to impact positively by the time children arrive. The focus for change needs to be at this formative stage. We will work directly and proactively with primary schools and will also promote the importance of this to secondary schools, encouraging them to support their feeder primaries.

2. Supporting teaching & learning

We will focus on and support the closure of the attainment gap by enabling effective teaching linked to the best use of technology enabled learning.

Our focus will include promoting 1:1 as an effective way of impacting on learning and the attainment gap. We will ensure schools are well-informed and supported in equipping themselves and starting to benefit from technology enabled learning. We will provide direct consultancy advice to schools and signpost them to key partners and other sources. We will advise on anything from infrastructure and finance to CPD and teacher training, individual child-centred learning and parental engagement. We will assist schools to engage in programmes which are equitable and sustainable.

We will continue to be differentiated on the basis of encouraging 1:1 technology (device, content & internet access) but evolve increasingly towards ‘content’ aimed at learning outcomes and improving attainment levels across the board.

We will be the key independent and objective “Go-To” place for information, advice and research on technology-enabled learning for teachers, schools and parents.

3. Sharing responsibility

We want to effect change as soon as possible; we will therefore work with partners who share our broad objectives and can add scale and reach.

We will work with partners in government, major charitable and not-for-profit organisations, companies and others to deliver support and advice to children through working with them directly and within their families and relevant and appropriate institutions.

We will work with industry sector leaders and renowned experts and practitioners; with parents, families, schools and communities, Teaching Unions, PTAs and School Governors locally and nationally.

What we will do

1. Direct support

i. Access - identifying priority children and schools

ii. Support - for teaching and schools

iii. Sharing - working with and through partners

2. Research & information

i. Compiling and curating a compelling evidence base

ii. Continue to work closely with other educational stakeholders

iii. Through the Foundation’s own research work

3. Advocacy, campaigning, PR and profile

 

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How we will measure ourselves

Access for all children

  • Numbers of Pupil Premium children supported and numbers of all children benefitting from our work
  • Numbers of schools we are working with and numbers adopting 1:1 schemes

Supporting teaching and learning

  • Impact on children – attainment/motivation/engagement
  • Assessment and feedback from schools, parents and students

Sharing responsibility

  • Financial sustainability of programmes and of the Foundation
  • Using agreed common frameworks agreed across partnerships where possible

 


 

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Our principles

From the beginning, the Foundation adopted four key criteria that set out
our objectives for school programmes and we continue to abide by them today...

1 - Equity of access

EquityWe work with schools that seek to provide equity of access.  To us this means that every child in a cohort or year group has the same ability and opportunity to access and benefit equally from their school’s technology. We don't just mean in the classroom and around the school premises but at home as well.

Access to this technology is the right of every child, regardless of their parents’ ability to contribute to or participate in the programme.

2 - Sustainability

SustainabilitySustainability is at the heart of our model. The education world is littered with projects that grind to a halt three years on when the equipment needs replacing. We work with our partner schools to identify funding solutions that are long-term and sustainable ensuring that the school can replace equipment when it needs replacing, and can also expand its learning activities to eventually include every single pupil at the school.

3 - Home access

Home AccessHome access is absolutely fundamental to success. The Foundation works hard to support schools looking to extend access to ICT beyond the school gate and in ensuring home access and broadband is universally available. Research confirms that high levels of home access to a computer and to the internet makes a significant impact on the learning outcomes of schoolchildren as the children and their parents engage with learning after the school day has finished.

4 - Partnerships

PartnershipsThe Foundation has big ambitions and this combined with a sense of urgency means that the task is beyond a single organisation. We are committed to working in partnerships with other individuals and agencies who share a common aim or link with a shared audience. These partnerships are genuinely two-way and mutual with each of us contributing however and whatever we can to reach the children, the schools, the families or communities that most need our support.

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