Sheffield schools lag behind in classroom technology revolution

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Schools in Sheffield are struggling with technology trends which are causing a classroom revolution, new research says.

Computer literacy has been given top priority by ministers, with coding installed as a compulsory element of the primary curriculum from this term.

However, almost a quarter of city schools – 23 per cent – say they are finding it hard to keep pace with increasing ICT-related demands being made of them.

Technology and telecoms business Daisy Group found problem areas include shielding young people from unsuitable online materials and reliable internet connections.

The firm’s report says information and communication technology inadequacies are affecting the quality of pupils’ education, with one in 10 youngsters saying lessons were slowed down by their schools’ broadband speed.

A further 30 per cent said internet speeds at home were much faster than at school.

While a third – 35 per cent – said using the internet in lessons brought subjects to life and helped them learn, 84 per cent of Sheffield schoolchildren said they used it once a day or less.

A fifth said they never used the internet in lessons, a figure nearly five times greater than the national average.

And 15 per cent of those aged 11 to 16 who were questioned admitted they had managed to access unsuitable websites or material on websites using school computers.

In today’s classroom, interactive whiteboards are the main teaching tool, with half of the Sheffield pupils saying they were regularly used.

But 38 per cent said their teachers still used blackboards and children said they were more likely to still use text books and calculators than computers.