Portsmouth’s Springfield School gets top rating despite losing funding

RESULT Jose Noto, left, Colette Kilgallon, Lynn Evans and Simon Marsden from Springfield School in Drayton.     Picture: Paul Jacobs (112505-1)
RESULT Jose Noto, left, Colette Kilgallon, Lynn Evans and Simon Marsden from Springfield School in Drayton. Picture: Paul Jacobs (112505-1)
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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A SCHOOL in Drayton is celebrating after winning top marks for its computing.

Springfield has just been awarded an ‘outstanding’ ICT Mark, in recognition of its use of technology to support the curriculum.

The nationally-accredited accolade comes a year after the school lost out on a £17m government grant for a refurb and additional block to take on 100 extra pupils.

It was part of Labour’s £55bn Building Schools for the Future scheme axed by the government.

But Springfield’s head Lynn Evans raised concerns at the time about the initiative, which would have saddled the school with a compulsory ICT contract that promised new computers, off-site technicians and a remote help centre at a cost of £130 per pupil annually.

Mrs Evans, who pays just £60 per pupil for ICT provision and is celebrating the exemplary report, said: ‘I knew my team could do a better job than under BSF and we are all thrilled with the report.

‘It is like having another outstanding Ofsted.

‘We felt the cost per pupil for the ICT package under BSF was unacceptably high, and that we could achieve more for a lot less.

‘Under BSF we couldn’t just opt out of the ICT contract, which would have forced us to throw out perfectly good computers for brand new ones, sign up to expensive software that needed to be licensed for every machine, and ring someone in Nottingham if anything went wrong so they could contact technicians based locally to help.

‘For my £60 per pupil I have three excellent full-time technicians on site who are constantly updating our servers and software and can do repairs as quickly as it takes them to move from A to B on our premises.

‘This report proves that 12 months down the line we do have the capacity for excellent ICT.’

Mrs Evans highlighted the scale of the financial burden after all schools had their capital funding allocations cut by 80 per cent this year.

She said: ‘I was getting £123,000, and this year I have £21,000. We were all assured capital funding would help pay for the costs of ICT managed service, but if we had relied on that we would have been in a real pickle.’