One impact of the end of the Harnessing Technology Grant will be the direct invoicing of schools for their learning platform. In most cases Local Authorities have held back a portion of the grant in order to provide an authority wide platform. The subscription invoice for this service will now go directly to schools and in most cases will amount to over £2,000 for an average sized primary school. This is going to cause a lot of soul searching on the part of school leaders and the value for money question will come to the fore. One Local Authority advisor told me privately that they expected up to three quarters of their schools not to renew. Many would argue that the exposure of the VLE industry to proper market forces was long overdue and I would expect subscription prices to tumble. Who will blink first the schools or the VLE providers?
In search of balance, I read this blogpost yesterday by @simfin which argues that the problem with VLEs has largely been down to the adoption model. I disagree, but hey, I would say that. It's an excellent post and definitely worth a read if you are trying to evaluate the impact of the learning platform in your school.