CGI part of coalition behind multi-million pound digital learning scheme

05 March 2019 4 min. read
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IT consulting firm CGI is part of a consortium of firms looking to boost the digital education standards of Scotland, as the country looks to strengthen its economy ahead of Brexit. The Inspire Learning programme has been developed by a partnership of bodies also including the Scottish Border Council, IT solutions provider XMA and Apple.

As Scotland prepares for Brexit, the country is looking to prime itself for digital commerce, which may well make up the backbone of the UK’s economy in the near future. This has ranged from Scotland’s devolved Government launching a new nationwide FinTech initiative, to urban regeneration projects aimed at simply ensuring that Scotland’s digital infrastructure is up to the task for a coming digital boom.

Now, the Scottish Borders Council has announced it will invest £16 million over a ten year period, as it looks to create a world-class digital learning environment in Scottish Borders schools, starting in the new school year of 2019/20. The Inspire Learning scheme is aimed at transforming learning and teaching across the Borders for the benefit of all children, young people and teachers, and will see all pupils have access to a transformative digital learning experience.

CGI part of coalition behind multi-million pound digital learning scheme

The extensive programme includes every pupil from P6 to S6 receiving an iPad, and every child from P1 to P5 having access to an iPad on 1:5 ratio, the expansion of Wifi to provide fast and reliable internet access in every school and the roll out of flexible audio visual learning spaces through equipping classrooms with wireless and efficient technology. The new initiative will also involve teacher training and support, delivered by experts from global IT consultancy CGI.

The Inspire Learning programme builds on a long-term relationship between CGI and the Scottish Borders Council, which began three years ago, and sees CGI provide transformational IT to enable the introduction of integrated digital services. The firm was involved in the development of the new partnership for digital learning, alongside the Scottish Borders Council, IT solutions specialist XMA and technology giant Apple.

Steve Smart, Senior Vice President for CGI in Scotland, said, “CGI is proud to be part of Scottish Borders Council’s multi-million pound Inspire Learning programme which will have a hugely positive impact on every child educated in the region. It means… equal access to a transformative digital learning experience which will also benefit teachers and communities. At a time when Scotland needs more highly-qualified workers to meet a growing skills shortage in the digital economy, this programme will be of huge long-term value to the Borders and the country as a whole.” 

At the end of February 2019, pupils at Earlston High School already experienced how their learning, and that of children and young people across the whole Scottish Borders, will soon be transformed by the Inspire Learning programme. A group of pupils at the school got the opportunity for a hands-on demonstration of the programme, which the Scottish Borders Council hopes will raise attainment, support, equity and inclusion and prepare young people for a digital future. It is expected to take around two years to fully implement.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, the Scottish Border Council’s Executive Member for Children and Young People, explained, “Our children and young people deserve to learn in the best possible facilities with world-class technology available to them. Not only that, we want to retain and attract more inspirational teachers who will lead education delivery for the 21st century in our schools. This programme is about both investing in our children and young people and our teachers to maximise the potential learning opportunities in the Scottish Borders.”