Why it is Time to lean on external support teams to Meet Your School’s IT Needs

UK schools struggle to retain staff due to workload and technology demands. Konica Minolta offers affordable IT support, with a dedicated team of experts experienced in educational IT. From infrastructure management to cybersecurity, they provide comprehensive services, freeing schools from staffing concerns and ensuring uninterrupted operations.

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It’s no secret that UK schools are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain staff. In the latest survey of almost 18,000 National Education Union members, 41% of teacher respondents say they plan to leave the education profession within five years. It’s not just teachers either, in the same survey, a whopping 48% of support staff see themselves ‘No longer working in education’ in five years (with 23% looking to leave within two years).

Workload worries 

The NEU study highlights ‘Workload’ being the top answer for this, with 73% of those looking to leave in two years and 72% within five years. Look at the roster of duties for schools IT professionals and the strain becomes clear. Numerous tasks can include network administration, hardware and software maintenance, troubleshooting, user support, and security management. With limited personnel, IT staff members may find it challenging to handle the sheer volume of work effectively and in a timely manner. 

These workload levels will also inevitably cause stress problems for staff. Constantly dealing with technology-related problems and managing a wide range of responsibilities can take a toll on people’s well-being, leading to reduced productivity, decreased job satisfaction, and higher turnover rates of staff your school can ill afford to lose. 

Increased demands upon technology 

IT staff shortages are exacerbated further by increasing demands for technology and support by students and staff, especially with the post-pandemic need for remote services and support alongside in-class provisions. Schools rely heavily on technology for various aspects of teaching, learning, and administrative tasks – significantly increasing the demand for IT support.  

Teachers, students, and staff members may require assistance with device setup, software issues, network connectivity problems, and other technology-related concerns. Insufficient IT staff can lead to significant delays in providing support which impacts productivity and learning outcomes.  

A lack of expertise 

Finding the right people to cover all your school’s IT needs is no small matter! When you are looking to attract IT talent your school will be competing against specialist IT companies that pay top rates for highly skilled, qualified, and talented people. To make matters worse, a recent survey by recruitment specialists Hays showed that almost 95% of employers looking for technology talent have encountered a skills shortage over the last year.  

Many schools struggle to find and retain people with specialised expertise, particularly dedicated cybersecurity professionals, data analysts, or experts in instructional technology. In the absence of specialised roles, important aspects like data security, data analysis for informed decision-making, and effective integration of technology in the curriculum may suffer. 

A lack of Redundancy and Continuity 

Unfortunately, without the right support your school’s IT provision will lack redundancy and continuity of service. With limited staff, any team absence (through illness or holidays for example) can significantly impact school operations. Maintaining continuity of services and responding promptly to technical issues or emergencies becomes a real challenge and a lack of redundancy in roles and responsibilities can leave your IT department vulnerable to disruptions. 

Limited Professional Development Opportunities 

Ongoing professional development is crucial for IT staff to stay updated with emerging technologies, best practices, and industry standards. However, if your school has insufficient staffing and/or a lack of budget your IT professionals will have limited time and resources for professional development. This can result in a knowledge gap and hinder the ability to effectively address new challenges and leverage the full potential of technology in education. 

Ultimately, if you are unable to support this professional development for your IT team, they will quite likely seek out other employers that will! 

Let us take the strain 

Your school’s IT functions are essential but providing a full support team and functionality has become increasingly difficult and costly. Many schools like yours are embracing the considerable service and pricing advantages of outsourcing their IT support and remote monitoring to the expert team at Konica Minolta.  

We have a dedicated team of IT experts that fully understand the demands of educational IT and the needs of your school. We have worked with more than 4,000 schools and academies in the UK and have former School IT leaders in our team, so we have a deep understanding of the challenges that you face. 

With an impressive pool of IT expertise, from Infrastructure management, cybersecurity and networking to fully managed print solutions and the latest highly secure cloud solutions for full backup peace of mind, Konica Minolta provides the professional IT team your school needs, with all the skills and specialisms, for a fixed and highly affordable monthly fee. You have access to the full IT provision you need, whenever you need it, without the overheads and worries of providing it yourself. 

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