Managing and Monitoring your ICT Policy for Performance
Having a management structure in place
The development of an ICT policy at your school will initiate the beginning of a whole school approach. Therefore, management structures will need to be in place to support this. Key areas such as curriculum planning including assessment, recording and reporting in addition to access to ICT resources and continual professional development will be coordinated throughout the whole school. To add to this, “it may not be entirely realistic to expect that all teachers who might be asked to teach, use and assess ICT will already have sufficient skills to do so” (Crawford, 2013, p. 263).
Having a school ICT committee is essential to oversee the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the ICT policy throughout the school. At the very least, have the foundation of a suitable management structure at the beginning.
Members of the committee may include but limited to:
- Classroom teachers who wish to be part of the committee;
- ICT manager;
- ICT coordinator and;
- Head of ICT.
A regular review of the performance in relation the agreed targets of the ICT policy will need to be conducted.
Other responsibilities include:
- Writing policies and procedures;
- Purchasing hardware;
- Purchasing ICT consumables;
- Repair and maintenance of hardware;
- Evaluating software;
- Purchasing software (and licensing);
- Using ICT for administration and management;
- Network issues;
- Sourcing for funding;
- Using ICT in each subject area;
- Using ICT for assessment;
- Replacing printer cartridges;
- Managing information;
- Staff training;
- Review and evaluation;
- Health and safety;
- Data protection and;
- Extended learning.
What elements are included in the policy?
The ICT policy of a school should also cover the whole school use of ICT including:
- Strategies for teaching staff to develop their ICT capability;
- Ways in which ICT is and will be used to improve the management of the school.
Involving the whole school
As mentioned earlier, it is imperative that the whole school adds to part of the discussion about the goals of the school in relation to ICT use in the ICT policy. To achieve this, you need to:
- Send a draft outline of the policy to all members of staff and ask them for comments;
- If the school has an ICT committee, use them as a working group to discuss the inputs from other staff members and to produce a more substantial draft;
- Write a list of features from the draft policy from which the working group had requested some advice;
- Make this available to all staff to review – the document could form the basis for a whole-staff discussion;
- Finalise with the ICT committee the ICT policy for presentation.
To be successful in the implementation of your policy, you must encourage senior management to have a broad view of the extent and quantity of ICT use. As an ICT coordinator, you also need to keep a close eye on what is happening in subject departments. Never assume that teachers will invariably follow the scheme of work for ICT.
The audit report on the ICT policy is your starting point that focuses on tasks both short-term and long-term. It is important to establish and identify a baseline for development.
- Heads of department and Deputy Principles play a key role in the inclusion of ICT in schemes of work for other subjects. They need to convey to teachers their accountability for ICT in the curriculum in a supportive role;
- You have a clear management structure that covers all the roles that head of department, Deputy Principle, ICT coordinator and other teaching staff who want to be involved in the implementation and monitoring of the ICT policy;
- Senior managers are concerned primarily with evaluating the quality of the teaching and learning with ICT;
- Senior managers consider whether the schemes of work were coherent and complete, whether the teaching staff had sufficient knowledge of teaching ICT and whether the resources were adequate to support the teaching required;
- The ICT policy would be reviewed annually as part of your whole school focus on teaching and learning.