Borders schools undergoing a digital transformation

Borders schools undergoing a digital transformation

Scottish Borders Council and its IT partner CGI have rolled out new technology in schools, providing Wi-Fi access for senior secondary school pupils to enable them to use their own devices for learning and providing an online parent evening booking system.

In eight of the Borders’ nine secondary schools a new wireless network for mobile technology has been established. (The new Kelso High School will have this technology in place when it opens)

Initially this network will be accessible for senior pupils in fourth, fifth and sixth year to enable them to connect mobile devices to enhance learning as part of the Council’s Digital Learning Strategy.

The network treats all personal devices like a school one by using a curricular login. It utilises the Council’s filtering protocol to ensure pupils are safe online in school. Pupils will be able to save their work in a cloud-based solution.

Forbes McKay, Vice President – Strategy and Operations at CGI said: “Enabling pupils to bring their own devices to school and use them to assist them in their learning has been an ambition of Scottish Borders Council for some time, and CGI is delighted to have been able to deliver a suitable and secure solution.”

The Council has also recently rolled out a new online parent evening appointment booking system to all of the region’s schools, after piloting different systems in five schools last year.

The system reduces a significant amount of administration in every school and makes it easier than ever for parents to book suitable appointments to meet with their child’s teachers from any device.

Councillor Simon Mountford, SBC’s Executive Member for Transformation and HR, said: “Today’s pupils have grown up with digital technology and it is important that we are able to make best use of this in their learning, while also ensuring that they do so in a safe and secure environment.

“By working with CGI we have been able to do this for all our senior secondary school pupils throughout the Borders, with pupils in Kelso to benefit from this when they move into the new high school.

“We also recognise that more and more parents want to deal with their school online. Following the success of ParentPay, which enables parents to pay for school meals, trips, clothing and more online the next step was to deliver an online solution to the booking of parent evening appointments.

“This has traditionally been a paper-based and labour intensive operation for school staff, pupils and parents. The rollout of the new online system will have a very positive impact for everyone, making it more efficient and time effective for all concerned.”

Date of Publication: 29th October 2017