Procurement Words of Wisdom
It might sound obvious, but my most useful tip is to insist that staff budget for the full costs whenever they plan to purchase a new resource. I have been horrified to walk around my school and find equipment still in the wrappings or locked in a cupboard months after purchase for the simple reason that no one knew how to use it, never mind how to get the best out of it, because they had not resourced for the cost of training. One current example has got to be Ipads or other tablets. Whilst they are the simplest of machines with which to access email or search the internet, to actually use them effectively as a teaching resource you have to have the right apps and the right training in using the apps. There are thousands and thousands of educational apps, some of them brilliant but many of them far less so. If your teachers are not trained in how to use them properly they will not enhance teaching and learning. You can say the same for interactive whiteboards which are far too often used as very expensive ohp substitutes due to the lack of training. I also have my doubts as to the value for money of a wifi network which I suspect is simply used to access the internet on the cheap without using up data allowances on staff and student smartphones as I have yet to see a lesson taught using it. One simple solution is to insist that staff provide a written specification for what resource they want, indicating the use they intend to make of it, what the ongoing running or licensing costs will be and specifically what training is required (and cover costs if required) to make best use of it.
Tony Leggett, Bursar, St Joseph’s College Reading