DfE to focus on creating more edtech ‘demonstrator schools’


More edtech ‘demonstrator schools’ are to be created to enhance home learning, the Department for Education has announced.

The move is part of a package of funding and support for schools that also includes access to Google and Microsoft’s education platforms – G Suite for Education and Office 365 Education.

In addition, laptops will be provided to Year 10 pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, children in care and to those who have social workers.

The investment for the three schemes, totalling £100 million, will help to ensure that the “right support” is given to pupils so that they can “continue their education”, schools minister Nick Gibb said.

“Through close partnership with the education sector and two of the world’s biggest tech companies, we are working to ensure that children can continue their studies while they are at home,” he explained.

Refocusing the edtech demonstrator schools project

The Department for Education has named a total of 20 schools and colleges from across England that have secured funding for its initial edtech demonstrator schools project.

Each institution will receive between £75,000 and £150,000 in grant funding to aid the delivery of education technology projects.

Designed to enhance the quality of education that can be provided, schools who use technology effectively will share their knowledge and expertise as part of the programme.

Additional funding has now been made available to enable school applicants to boost remote learning during the coronavirus outbreak.

Schools have until Wednesday 29th April to apply for between £70,000 and £150,000 to support programmes running from May until the end of March 2021.

Applicant schools will need to pass several criteria to be eligible and all support will be provided remotely in the coming months.

Looking at available education platforms

The Key will also guide schools relating to the Microsoft and Google education platforms so that they can focus on “choosing the right education platform to meet their needs”.

Alongside a walkthrough of the assets available on both platforms, schools will also be able to request government-funded expert support to get them set up.

Google, for example, has a wide range of resources to help teachers continue educating their classes from home, alongside tools to aid tuition and other forms of learning.