Three Lancashire schools to roll out edtech support

Remote learning for school pupils is set to benefit from a cash boost.

Thursday, 30th April 2020, 10:06 am
Ribblesdale High School pupils at work in the classroom

A consortium of three schools have been hand-picked to help support their peers following a windfall of more than £70,000.

The trio, led by Ribblesdale High in Clitheroe, and includes Hambleton Primary in Poulton and Highfurlong scpial school in Blackpool, has been selected by the Department for Education as one of only 20 national Edtech Demonstrator Schools, the only one in the North West.

They will benefit from a cash injection to help other schools with areas such as e-learning.

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Hambleton Primary youngsters are used to technology in the classroom

One of the biggest boosts to the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre area is a chance to address the problems of a digital divide.

Although schools are helping pupils work remotely, they say the Covid-19 lockdown has highlighted the problems facing families without adequate technology.

The three schools have already established a broad range of support for other schools across the sectors.

Ribblesdale headteacher Stephen Cox said: "We are thrilled that our collective expertise and experience is being harnessed by this programme to support a wide range of schools.

School is out by e-learning is the order of the day for youngsters like Amelia Evans a pupil at Hambleton Primary

The current situation has forced all schools to be highly dependent upon remote learning, adjusting to a very new way of working.

"We look forward to supporting colleagues in other institutions, aiding their students to experience the very best teaching, learning and wider support which can be afforded by remote learning solutions."

The Clitheroe school has a long history of using technology within teaching and learning amongst its 1,300 pupils and has partnered with Microsoft as a training academy for the last three years, sharing its expertise both nationally and globally.”

Hambleton is also renowned for using technology within teaching and learning and has been a lead school as part of the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, delivering training as part of the Fylde Coast Teaching School.

Headteacher Holly Wood said: “The current situation has forced all schools to be highly dependent upon remote learning, adjusting to a very new way of working. We look forward to supporting colleagues in other institutions, aiding their students to experience the very best teaching, learning and wider support which can be afforded by remote learning solutions.”

She added: “We are eager to share our experience and knowledge wherever it can help.”

Mr Cox added: " One of the issues the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted is the digital divide amongst students across the country. Whilst some have access to a laptop or another device and high speed internet

connections, others have neither.

"This presents a huge challenge for schools to deliver remote learning across their entire communities.

Whilst, the government has introduced a scheme to provide some students with laptops and internet connectivity many will still not have this opportunity. School leaders are incredibly aware of this disparity and are constantly developing creative approaches to try and mitigate against the divide. It is hoped that the Demonstrator School

Programme will be able to share best practice from across the country to support schools to try and address this area."