Nearly four in five (79 percent) school ICT managers believe more IT skills are learnt through use of personal PCs and laptops than in the classroom, says Equanet.

Research by the IT solutions firm, which comes just a day after Education Secretary Michael Gove unveiled plans to scrap the current ICT program in schools in favour of individually developed Computer Science courses, revealed 76 percent believe new technology takes more than two years to reach the classroom.

Furthermore, over a third (37 percent) said tablet PCs are the most important technology currently used in the classroom with 92 percent admitting the devices are underused in the classroom. The majority (97 percent) also believe technology desperately needs more funding in education.

Equanet also said that not only have tablets failed to be successfully integrated into the curriculum, but 38 percent of schools have gone as far as to ban tablets from the classroom.

"What emerges from our research is a bleak indictment of the state of technology in education," said Phil Birbeck, managing director at Equanet.

"With technology advancing at such a rapid rate, it is always going to be difficult for schools, already restrained by tight budgets, to stay at the forefront of innovation; however, students should never have to rely upon personal ownership to develop IT skills. The danger here is of a generation left behind by schools unable to afford vital technology and a growing divide between those whose parents can afford the latest technology and those who can't."

Birbeck said a change in attitudes is needed to encourage the "integration and widespread use of innovative technologies in schools in a way that is cost effective, scalable and, first and foremost, has a positive impact upon all students".