Earlier on, I stressed the importance of involving other staff in the development of the ICT policy for your school. When it comes to the management structure of the document it is equally as important to ensure that it supports the whole school approach.
It is important when developing the ICT policy to organise ICT across the curriculum. Particularly now with national curricula such as that in Australia now incorporating the integration of digital technology into subject areas and thus the opportunity to develop student ICT capability.
At this stage, understand that the planning of the curriculum, assessment, recording and reporting, access to ICT and the CPD of staff will be coordinated throughout the whole school. So the development of the ICT policy needs to involve the whole school.
The management structure will need to be sufficiently effective and authoritative to organise the development, implementation etc of the ICT policy.
The structure may typically consists of the following people and responsibilities (Crawford, 2013, p. 263):
- ICT coordinator who reports directly to senior management. The ICT Coordinator should be responsible for organizing pupils' ICT experiences throughout the curriculum into a coherent, integrated framework. The ICT Coordinator should have the skills to work with other teachers.
- A HoD ICT who is responsible for the ICT department and discrete ICT.
- An ICT Manager who is responsible to the ICT Coordinator. The ICT Manager will have the technical skills required for the management of the school's ICT resources and will have time allocated to do this task. The ICT Manager is the line manager for ICT technicians.
- A Coordinating Group for ICT chaired by the ICT Coordinator. This committee considers the school's ICT Policy and implementation plan, and reviews practice. Membership of the Coordinating Group includes the HoD ICT and representatives from different subject departments, preferably HoDs. The subject department representatives: will prevent important decisions affecting the whole-school curriculum being made by a few ICT specialists acting alone.
This structure can be adapted, changed or reviewed whenever needed. You should consider the following:
- What is the current management structure for organizing the staff involved in delivering the ICT curriculum? Which roles and responsibilities have these staff in relation to ICT?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the existing management structure?
- How is the effectiveness of management procedures monitored?
- How often are the results of monitoring reported and to whom?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of these procedures?
Research has indicated (Kennewell, Parkinson, & Tanner, 2000) that schools that have been successful in developing ICT capability did have a broad view of extent and quantity of ICT use across the school. One aspect which is imperative for you to understand as an educational leader is that you should never assume that teachers will invariable follow the scheme of work for ICT integration. Digital leaders at your school may inevitably need to be given the task of keeping a close eye on what is happening in subjects.
It is important the proposed goals of the ICT policy are matched to the needs of teachers in order for the successful development of ICT capability to occur. Ensure that you set the right targets for your school. Be ambitious but realistic about the pace of change. If your school is to achieve these goals, it needs to tackle the attitudes and habits that are deeply ingrained in the school culture.