The UK Education Market Structure
The four constituent countries that make up the United Kingdom each have their own support model for schools and technology.
- Overseen by the Department for Education.
- Publishes guidance but does not provide direct support.
- Broadband, school networks, learning content and device purchasing are managed by Multi-Academy Trusts, Local Authorities, or individual schools.
Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland Devolved Administrations
Each offers services directly to schools as part of devolved governments.
Scotland offers a centralised Learning Management System (GLOW), which provides educational institutions with tools, services, and content.
A similar platform exists in Wales (Hwb), offering similar services as GLOW but in English and Welsh.
In Northern Ireland, the C2k project provides the infrastructure and services to support the enhanced use of technology in grant-aided schools across.
The Purchasing Triangle is a useful model to explore how technology procurement decisions are made, and provides an insight into the dynamics when educational institutions make purchasing decisions
- The authority – The context in which purchasing is made. To the right, we have the roles that make up the authority, including governors, business managers, and senior leaders.
- In the centre of the triangle lies the decision-makers – those who will make the actual procurement choices before seeking sign off or approval from the authority to proceed. Here we find IT department and network managers, and organisations will, to different extents, have teaching staff involved or directing such decisions.
- At the base of the triangle are the influences. Those who make suggestions and lobby for choices – often based on research, experience, or outcomes of pilot projects.