Showing the way: EdTech demonstrator schools

In this blog, we look at the government’s EdTech Demonstrator Programme and how demonstrator schools can support others to use technology more effectively.

Simon Hemsley
Author
Simon Hemsley
Published: June 16, 2021

There’s no denying that technology has played a crucial role in education over the past year. The EdTech market is booming and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon. In this article, we look at the Department for Education’s ‘EdTech Demonstrator Programme’ which was created to ensure schools and colleges have the support they need to use digital tools and technology effectively!

What is the EdTech Demonstrator Programme?

The programme was set up by the English Department for Education and was launched just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to ensure schools and colleges have access to free, expert advice and information about EdTech. Last year, the programme focused on ‘crisis response’ as a result of the changes brought by COVID-19. However, it’s now helping schools develop holistic digital strategies that enable them to make the best use of EdTech.

What are demonstrator schools?

Demonstrator schools have shown they can use technology successfully and can help others to do so. They all have an Ofsted rating of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, and their support for schools covers the following areas:

  • Using technology to support student progress and outcomes: This includes ‘catch-up’ activities, online and in-person teaching and tutoring, developing personalised learning, and supporting high-quality assessment and feedback.
  • Reducing workload: Using technology to reduce admin tasks, support flexible teaching practices, and improve access to high-quality teaching resources.
  • School improvement plans: Using technology to support the wider aims of the school.
  • Resource management: Ensuring that the adoption of EdTech provides value for money when combined with existing resources. For example, through the use of cloud-based platforms, management information systems, and informed procurement.
  • Enabling an accessible, inclusive curriculum: Introducing technology with a focus on accessibility, for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

How can schools work with demonstrator schools?

Demonstrator schools tailor their support to the needs of individual schools and offer three levels of support: light-touch, medium-touch, and long-term.

Light-touch support involves around six hours of training delivered over one term. It’s suitable for schools that need a quick solution to a relatively straightforward issue.

Medium-touch support involves around 15 hours of training delivered over the academic year. It’s suitable for schools that need help with one or two key areas where technology could be adopted, for maximum impact for teachers and students.

Long-term support includes around 30 hours of training delivered over the academic year. It might include work to develop a suitable digital strategy, or embedding technology as part of a wider change programme within the school.

If your school is interested in becoming or working with a demonstrator school, further information can be found on the programme’s website. If your school feels like it might be time to upgrade its EdTech equipment, we offer a range of iPads, IT equipment and laptops, 3D printers, interactive screens (and more). All of our equipment is available via our flexible leasing agreements – with no upfront capital expenditure! We can also assist with set-up and training.

If your school wants to upgrade its classroom equipment, or discuss the EdTech options we have available, please get in touch with our team!

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