ICT in UK schools is unsupportable

A study published today concludes that ICT systems supplied to schools are so complex that they are uneconomic for suppliers to support. Unable to pay commercial rates for support, most schools waste over half their ICT budgets on staff salaries. The answer, according to the report, is for schools to adopt thin-client systems that are largely maintenance-free.

Steven Lucey, a director at Becta, has admitted that Becta's ICT model for schools is unsustainable. Yet DfES advice and Becta's procurement frameworks continue to promote high maintenance, fat-client solutions that damage the environment.

The author of the study Dr. John Spencer said: “Becta-approved ICT suppliers are selling equipment that they can't afford to support. It's like buying a car and then having to employ your own full-time mechanic to keep it on the road.

“The government is pouring millions into school's ICT resources but most of the money goes on funding the staff needed to keep the systems going.

“Most ICT staff time is spent on mundane tasks like rebooting PCs or running anti-virus software. Open Source thin-client networks don't get Windows viruses and can be managed by one person from the server room.”

The report is available now from the Sirius website.

About Sirius Corporation

Sirius Corporation is a European Open Source consulting, support and outsourcing group specialising in enterprise-ready Open Source software including connectivity, databases, email systems, file & print, directory service and cross-platform authentication. Clients include blue-chip multi-nationals, UK public sector organisations and the European Commission.

For more information visit www.siriusopensource.com .