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CyberFirst Schools initiative?

28 September 2020

School and College Recognition for excellence in Computing and Cyber Security Education

Who is the NCSC?

The National Cyber Security Centre is a part of GCHQ and is charged by the UK Government for making the UK the safest place to live and work online.
In an increasingly digitised world, the NCSC has recognised the importance of equipping our young people with the skills and knowledge to exploit technology safely and securely. As part of this, the NCSC runs the CyberFirst Programme on behalf of the UK Government, which offers a range of activities helping young people explore their passion for technology and computing by introducing them to the world of Cyber Security. It comprises of free courses, university bursaries, degree apprenticeships, exciting competitions, and a school/college recognition scheme.

What is the CyberFirst Schools initiative?

The CyberFirst Schools initiative is open to schools and colleges in specific areas of the UK. It recognises schools and colleges who are taking the lead in encouraging their students to undertake Computer Science and computing related qualifications, providing learning on Cyber Security concepts and encouraging them to pursue career paths into the Cyber Security profession. Schools and Colleges apply for recognition and can be awarded by the NCSC either at Bronze, Silver or Gold level, depending upon their level of attainment.

How does a school benefit from obtaining CyberFirst Schools recognition?

• Supports their work against the Educational standard inspection frameworks (OFSTED/ESTYN/ETI) and provides evidence on requirement obtainment
• Supports their work against the GATSBY Benchmarks and provides opportunities to student to understand the careers available in the technology and Cyber Security sectors.
• Helps promote the school in an ever-competitive market
• Enhances other core STEM subjects
• Join an existing ecosystem of CyberFirst schools and colleges committed to excellence in computing and cyber security education
• Gives the school the opportunity to be part of CISSE UK and engage with an Academia led network of Cyber Security educators
• Provides the opportunity for the school to take part in inter-CyberFirst School competitions and activities
• Access to an ever-expanding number of resources to support Cyber Security and Computer Science education
• Gains support from the NCSC CyberFirst Ambassador Network.
• Provides schools and colleges access to a wide range of organisations across the UK who support the CyberFirst Programme

How do organisations support CyberFirst Schools and Colleges?

The CyberFirst programme has a wide range of organisations drawn from industry, academia and government that provide support to its activities. These organisations can provide:

Support to school/college cyber clubs/talks/workshops
Companies and their staff inspire students by sharing real world IT/cyber problems and provide virtual or face-to-face support through activities and workshops

Student technology and cyber work placements
Companies and their staff provide GCSE, A-Level and BTEC students with work experience placements, showcasing their organisation’s field of work.

Inspirational cyber and technology events for students 
Companies and their staff arrange virtual or face to face talks, workshops and activities to excite and inspire students.

Multi-school cyber security events and activities 
Companies and their staff support large multi-school/college cyber events with tailored activities, talks and workshops to inspire large numbers of students 

Cyber security teaching content 
Companies and their staff work closely with teachers to develop and deliver activities to support the computer science curriculum

• Mentoring for school/college students 
Companies and their staff provide virtual or face-to-face mentoring to support students both with computer science questions and their personal development

How can my School/College get involved?
The NCSC is currently rolling out the scheme region by region and is running application rounds every 6 months.

For further information on the CyberFirst Schools/Colleges scheme please visit - https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberfirst/cyberfirst-schools or to register your interest to learn more about the scheme email mailto:CFSchools@ncsc.gov.uk

See press release https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/cyberfirst-opportunities-northern-ireland-and-north-east 



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