A Council of the Future project that is set to transform teaching and learning has been awarded £3.6m to launch its rollout.
At a meeting of the Council's Emergency Executive, elected members agreed to fund year one of the ambitious project, which aims to ensure young people across the Falkirk Council area have the confidence, skills and knowledge needed to thrive in an ever-changing, fast-paced digital world.
Subject to a successful procurement process, the initial investment will allow the Council to:
- procure learning devices for children and young people at appropriate ratios for their stage
- strengthen the digital infrastructure across its school estate
- ensure high quality connectivity in all schools
- deliver a professional learning programme to support educators.
Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Convener of the Emergency Executive, told the meeting there was a “growing imperative” to make the project happen.
She said: “Our current situation has highlighted the important role this project plays in enabling our young people to continue their learning, whether at home or in a school. This initial investment will allow us to quickly improve connectivity in our schools and, more importantly, provide equity of access to learning devices, which gives greater flexibility as and when schools begin to re-open.”
Making the connection
The project falls under the Council’s Digital strategy, which aims to modernise services to better meet the needs of our communities. Connected Falkirk will not only provide equity of digital access, it will:
- Ensure young people have the ability to learn anytime, anywhere - leading to greater engagement, better outcomes and increased levels of attendance
- Redefine the way young people engage with their learning, teachers and peers, increase creativity, collaboration and real-time feedback on their work
- Assist young people who have English as an Additional Language (EAL), Additional Support Needs (ASN) or health (physical or mental) issues with their learning
- Increase parental involvement and engagement and transform how families connect with their child’s learning, opening a digital window to their experiences in the classroom
- Equip our young people with the general and specialist digital skills that they will need to thrive in a transforming and increasingly digital world, which has the potential to contribute to the economic prosperity of the Falkirk area
- Develop the digital skills of our workforce through a sector leading professional learning programme and help attract and retain high quality educators
Blueprint for the future
Last May, a range of Council of the Future projects were launched to transform education and learning across the Falkirk Council area.
Under the Succeed Today, Excel Tomorrow banner, the projects aim to create a blueprint for the future that includes investment in primaries and the potential creation of a Professional Academy, providing skills training for the young people of Falkirk.
Connected Falkirk is the first of these projects to come to fruition and it will launch the digital transformation of how young people live, learn and work.