New scheme aims to power up digital skills in Scottish secondary schools

Member News | 06.09.2017

New scheme aims to power up digital skills in Scottish secondary schools

The Digital Schools Awards, announced today by Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, encourages schools to infuse digital skills across the curriculum. Colleges, universities, and employers are also encouraged to partner with schools to develop a modern, digitally resilient workforce with advanced computational thinking capabilities. 

The announcement builds on the successful introduction of the Digital Schools Awards to Scottish primary schools last year. This programme has already seen 15% of primary schools register and 43 schools achieve digital school accreditation, including 22 schools who today received their awards at a presentation held in Goldenhill Primary School, Clydebank.

The secondary programme builds on the primary and encourages schools to identify activities where digital skills are more focused on real world work-ready scenarios.

The programme promotes skills such as digital innovation and creativity; computational thinking; advances in STEM; the use of digital technology to promote higher order thinking skills; support for digital equity and access and the need for cyber resilience.

HP, Microsoft and Intel are  providing  practical  support  and  resources  including  a  financial commitment of £600,000 over 5 years and the programme is recognised by Education Scotland. The programme is also supported by the Scottish Government’s Digital Skills funding. 

It is expected that by the end of 2018, more than a quarter of all Scottish primary and secondary schools and over 190,000 pupils aged between 5-18 years, will have been involved with the programme’s activities. 

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP said: “A key priority in shaping the Scottish Government’s Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy has been to align the needs of employers with the curriculum. Our colleges, universities and employers have a key role to play in helping schools to prepare our young people for the opportunities to flourish in the future. I welcome HP, Microsoft and Intel support on this digital schools’ programme which is a fantastic example of industry supporting education in Scotland.”

StevenGrier, Country Manager, Microsoft Scotland, said:“The Digital Schools Programme is a shining example of how we, as an industry, are committed to supporting the next generation and ensuring that all young people acquire the skills they need to thrive in the modern digital workplace. We are proud to be part of this exciting initiative and look forward to seeing how it enables students to better prepare for the world of work.”

Schools are encouraged to register for the programme through the www.digitalschoolsawards.co.uk website where they can undergo a self-evaluation of current practices and standards.

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