DfE Connect the Classroom Programme is Extended with a further £150 million of funding

Why Does It Matter For Your School?

During the pandemic, a large number of schools were provided with vital computer technology—including tablets and laptops—to enable students to continue their learning whilst at home. 

Upon returning to the normal classroom environment, it became clear that these devices needed to be incorporated into the traditional education system. As a consequence, and to maximise students’ ability to utilise integral ICT, more focus has been directed at schools whose Wi-Fi network infrastructure isn’t up to standard. 

Now more than ever, students and teachers require both adequate hardware and reliable high-speed internet connections for effective learning outcomes.

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Connect the Classroom

Last year, the DfE rolled out the Connect the Classroom programme, a pilot scheme for 1000 schools to upgrade their wireless networks to next-generation Wi-Fi 6 within a targeted group of schools. After the initial success of the pilot, the government is now expanding the scheme across a much larger geographical area to further increase the effect of high-quality technology for education.

Computeam, working primarily in partnership with Everything ICT—who run a DfE technology procurement framework—delivered a great number of successful projects across the UK in the initial pilot phase. From Plymouth in the South West, across the Midlands, and reaching as far as Liverpool in the North West. 

As Aruba Silver partners, working closely with the specialist teams at the DfE, we were able to design, cost, deliver, and implement enterprise-grade, stable, secure and high-speed networks into the schools who had obtained the funding. A partnership which has proved hugely beneficial for all parties.

A Necessary Step For Your School

Now, there might be some who believe this specification to be somewhat excessive. But, as anyone attempting to log onto a domestic-grade Wi-Fi system with 32 mobile devices simultaneously would confirm, a poor-quality network can test the resolve of even the most patient of teachers. 

Using our fully-managed Computeam Connect service, we supply only fit-for-the-classroom solutions as standard.

The latest round of funding focuses on Education Investment Areas within England, with the initial phase being schools that fall within the Priority Education Investment Areas. This covers Blackpool, Bradford, Derby, Doncaster, Fenlands and East Cambridgeshire, Halton, Hartlepool, Hastings, Ipswich, Knowsley, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, Norwich, Nottingham, Oldham, Portsmouth, Rochdale, Salford, Sandwell, Stoke-on Trent, Tameside, Walsall and West Somerset

The DfE has already begun reaching out to MATs and local authorities to notify the schools within selected areas of their eligibility, and if you are currently supported by Computeam, one of our consultants will likely have reached out to you.

Priority Education Investment Areas 

Taken from Education Investment Areas Selection Methodology (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Blackpool, Bradford, Derby, Doncaster, Fenlands and East Cambridgeshire, Halton, Hartlepool, Hastings, Ipswich, Knowsley, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire Coast, Norwich, Nottingham, Oldham, Portsmouth, Rochdale, Salford, Sandwell, Stoke-on-Trent, Tameside, Walsall, West Somerset

What’s next for your school?

Once your eligibility for funding has been confirmed, your school is required to obtain three quotes from specialist EdTech providers such as Computeam. We can then evaluate which is the best fit for your school and find a compatible solution to satisfy the DfE’s strict criteria and standards.

It might be that certain schools and their IT staff are perfectly capable of embarking on this process independently, or have sufficient bandwidth for their education needs. At this stage, however, we would highly recommend that your school engages with Everything ICT to assist you with these fundamental elements.

At no cost whatsoever, Everything ICT will go to the market and obtain three quotes on your behalf. They will then evaluate, vet, and present their findings back to your school. Working closely with the suppliers, the DfE, and you the client, Everything ICT will take all the stress out of project delivery, ensuring a smooth process, allowing you to get on with the important job of delivering exceptional teaching and learning practices.

How can we help?

For more information on the scheme, Computeam or Everything ICT, please do complete the form below and one of our consultants will be in touch to discuss your options. 

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