Education Scotland awards Inverness College UHI over £11,000 to support teachers with embedding cyber security skills into the BGE curriculum

Education Scotland has awarded Inverness College UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands,  £11,600 to develop and deliver an online CPD module which will support up to 40 practitioners initially with teaching cyber security in the broad general education (BGE).

This funding has been announced in support of Cyber Scotland Week (22nd – 28th February) which aims to increase cyber awareness, encourage innovation in cyber security and inspire people to discover a career in cyber technology.

The online module is directed at primary or secondary school teachers who may not have a computing science background and aims to help them develop knowledge, understanding and problem solving skills related to cyber security. It also aims to develop a deeper understanding of cyber security and cyber resilience and their relationship to each other.

In addition to this, the module will also support secondary schools that deliver a joint technologies curriculum by helping teachers with no previous computing science specialism to deliver the cyber resilience and internet safety outcomes and experiences at 3rd and 4th level.

Teachers study remotely through a combination of video conference lectures and tutorials with online study via the university’s virtual learning environment with support from tutors. They will also participate in timetabled tutor-led activities and discussions.

The funding will enable the module to be delivered to 20 teachers from this month, followed by another 20 in September

Gayle Gorman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Chief Executive of Education Scotland said:

'We are delighted to award funding to Inverness College UHI for this project which aims to help embed cyber security skills into the broad general education curriculum. This will support our children and young people to gain vital cyber resilience and internet safety skills which they can build upon as they progress through their education. These skills are important not just for during Cyber Scotland Week – but all year round.

'Education Scotland’s digital officers provide a range of professional development opportunities to help practitioners explore how they can support young people from the early level to navigate their online life, the risks they may face, and how to overcome these and develop resilience. We will continue to work to ensure that we are providing the support practitioners need to complement the work they are already doing locally.'

Nicola Macdonald, Head of the School of Business, Computing and Hospitality at Inverness College UHI, said:

'Inverness College UHI runs a range of CPD programmes for primary and secondary school teachers, including programmes designed to help teachers upskill in the areas of computing and information technology. Having spoken to teachers on these programmes, we identified the need for an introductory module in cyber security and resilience and thanks to continued support from Education Scotland we have been able to develop and deliver this module, with 40 funded places available initially. No prior knowledge of cyber security is required, and it will allow teachers to develop their confidence to teach all pupils the underpinning knowledge required in cyber security and to raise awareness amongst young people of this growing area of importance.'