Tablet Use Rises and Barriers Shift, Says BESA

Tablet use in UK schools is rising, but new barriers have appeared, according to the British Educational Suppliers’ Association (BESA).

An annual survey of over 600 schools has revealed that 71% of primary and 76% of secondary schools are now using tablets in the classroom. This is up from 56%, in both school types, in 2014.

There are now estimated to be 721,000 tablets in use by pupils across UK schools and academies. By the end of 2016, this number is forecast to pass 946,000. 15% of schools say that they will have a tablet for every child by 2016, and 44% by 2020.

Lack of bandwidth remains an issue for mobile technology adoption, however. Research in May 2014 showed that schools in rural areas have poor access to mobile technologies, due to low internet bandwidth. More recent surveys show little improvement over the past year, with only 3% more primary schools (53%) saying that they have ‘ideal’ bandwidth, and 65% of secondary schools (up from 62%).

Management and security of tablets was listed as a barrier to adoption by 88% of primary schools, and 83% of secondaries. Secondary establishments also listed funding (83%) and training and support (91%).