What is the Role of Demonstrator Schools and Colleges? 

The DfE and delivery partners have identified 20 schools and colleges which have demonstrated excellence in their use of technology to support teaching and learning and have the capacity to help others. There are plans to extend the reach of this programme over the coming weeks.

These schools and colleges represent a wide range of contexts, from rural to urban and primary to further education and include a number of Trusts with special needs provision. Demonstrator Schools and Colleges will offer packages of support, including guidance, online tutorials, webinars and recorded content.

Advice and training will be available to schools and colleges across the country which are most in need of support, for example those which have recently deployed a new online learning platform and those with the most disadvantaged learners.

Broadclyst Community Primary School

Broadclyst Community Primary School (BCPS) has an international reputation for its use of technology in education and has been awarded EdTech Demonstrator School status by the Department for Education. The EdTech programme is being delivered by a consortium including the National Grid for Learning, Sheffield Hallam University and The Education Foundation. Providing expert technical support to other schools in the region and helping them to access Google and Microsoft’s free education platforms, the school is running a range of EdTech live events.

BCPS is the founding school in the Cornerstone Academy Trust. Its CEO, Jonathan Bishop, commented: “The EdTech Demonstrator School programme targets schools and colleges who are most in need of support; for example, those getting to grips with using a new online learning platform and those with the most disadvantaged learners. We are delighted that BCPS will be using its extensive knowledge and experience to help schools to build their own digital strategies and select their learning platforms. We will be supporting governors and trustees, advising on the procurement and set-up of digital services, as well as providing training for teachers on the use of Edtech in their teaching, keeping children safe online, giving the best support to children with Special Education Needs and offering advice on wider curriculum opportunities.

With the news that the Government has pledged to provide laptops and tablets for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and to boost remote education across England during the closure of schools due to the Covid-19 lockdown, thousands of schools stand to benefit from the EdTech Demonstrator School initiative together with the government’s ground-breaking partnership with the tech giants to gain access to education platforms. Schools can apply through The Key for School Leaders for Government-funded support to get set up on one of two free-to-use digital education platforms: G Suite for Education or Office 365 Education. More information about the peer-to-peer support programme, including the use of technology to support remote learning, can be found on the LGFL website.