Cluster Initiative

Contact Aoife at aoife@digitalschoolsawards.co.uk with the names of schools in your learning community / cluster including a contact person and email address for each school.

Step 1

Each school in a cluster will receive an email inviting them to register if they have not already done so.
A cluster can include schools that have already achieved digital school status. These schools do not need to re-register or complete the self-evaluation again. They will provide a supportive, mentoring role as part of the schools community in their area.

Step 2

Each registered school will be asked to complete the self-evaluation questionnaire within a set timeframe, typically two weeks. Schools are not required to pass the self-review. Schools are being asked to reflect on the current status within the school.
In addition,

  • Primary schools will consider the documentary requirement which includes an up-to-date School Digital Strategy and an Acceptable Usage Policy.
  • Secondary schools will receive and give consideration to the documentary evidence checklist which is provided as part of their self-review.

Note: If some schools have already registered and partially completed the self-evaluation, they should complete it. If a school is already awarded, there is no need to re-submit.

Schools will also be invited to email comments about their status, e.g. particular strengths, potential weaknesses relating to self-review questionnaire, evidence checklist, etc. for inclusion in considerations and recommendations.

Step 3

When the schools in a cluster have completed their online self-review framework, a validator will be assigned to the cluster.

The validator will review the school self-evaluations and comments. Based on responses, the validator will propose a matrix system of supports to help schools address any gaps that have been identified. Involvement from appropriate resources will be sought. Supports may comprise of the following;

  • School matching – schools with strengths in specific areas will provide mentoring. A school may mentor in one area and receive support in another.
  • Mentor digital schools within and outside the cluster
  • Programme validator support and guidance
  • Local Authority and Education Scotland support on relevant areas

Step 4

Schools will be encouraged to reach out and engage in the development process and to address any gaps. The timescales will vary from school to school depending on their level of maturity and on requirements. Schools can revise their self-review framework at any time and when ready, submit and apply for a validation visit. The validator will monitor progress and provide guidance as required.

Note:

  • Not all schools in a Learning Community / Cluster need participate in order to register for the initiative.
  • The programme team will update Education Scotland and relevant local authorities of participating clusters for support throughout the journey.
  • The aim is for participating schools in a cluster to achieve Digital School status within 3-9 months of commencement.
  • The initiative is currently open to learning communities / clusters in Scotland and Northern Ireland.