iPad for every pupil – but exam grades and attendance slump

Kent Online is reporting that a school which splashed £125,000 on iPads for its pupils in a bid to boost grades has seen results ‘flop spectacularly’ in the three years since.

The Spires Academy gave all 450 youngsters at the Sturry school a tablet in 2012 – two months after 49% of its pupils achieved five GCSE grades between A* and C, including English and maths.

But new tables released for exams in the summer show this figure has dropped to 17% – well below the 34% Spires bosses predicted.

The school splashed out on iPads for all its pupils

It follows a damning Ofsted report in May which rated the school as “requiring improvement” in all areas.

Now governors have been served with a pre-warning notice by the Department for Education, which flags up how the school is falling short of the expected 40% national standard…

In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday, principal Nicki Mattin says the leadership team accepts standards are unacceptable and admits the school has a history of poor achievement…

But she says the fact Kent is a selective authority means a hierarchy of schools is created and traditionally Spires has been seen as “bottom of the pile”…

Defending the decision to purchase the iPads, Ms Mattin said the school invested in IT facilities to enable pupils to access the latest technology.

She said: “Tablets are a part of modern life used across education and industry and we feel it is important young people learn to use this technology effectively…”

More at: iPad for every pupil – but exam grades and attendance slump at Spires Academy

 

You can read the Pre-Warning Notice from the Regional Schools Commissioner:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://4cpa373vsw6v3t1suthjdjgv-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Spires_PWN.pdf”]

 

Ms Mattin makes an interesting point about being a non-selective school in a selective authority, but what do you make of the justification to spend £125,000 on iPads for all pupils? 

Firstly, do schools really need to provide these so young people can learn how to use them? Do you actually know any child over the age of five these days who can’t already?

And do they really help learning? Really? 

Please give us your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. gordon_brough

    SchoolsImprove How naïve to expect an iPad to improve grades. It is what you do with it that counts. A more expensive pen doesn’t help me!

  2. gordon_brough

    SchoolsImprove How naïve to expect an iPad to improve grades. It is what you do with it that counts. A more expensive pen doesn’t help me!

  3. Britinfloridaus

    Principal blames the system used in the county rather than looking in her own back yard. It was a selective county when the school achieved 49 percent at 5 A* – C, so look closer to home.

  4. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove Poor grades but would be good to see educationgovuk offer some advice on what needs to be done. Truth is, they don’t know.

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