Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – Michelle Donelan was handed a tour of Stroud High School last week.
She spent the morning touring the school with Headteacher Mark McShane and the computer science department with the school’s Digital Strategy Lead, Karen Morris, meeting students and hearing about the successful NCSC CyberFirst Programme For Schools, as well the prominent involvement in the Cheltenham Science Festival’s DataFace pilot project.
Her visit was to learn more about how these projects have positively impacted the rise in students on the school’s GCSE and A Level Comp Sci courses and how the skills required locally within this sector are being met.
Industry partners proud to be working with Stroud High School and long standing supporters of CyNam and CyberFirst, Sopra Steria were also in attendance with Sally Newport -Customer Relationship Manager meeting the Minister to discuss their role in building relationships with schools to enhance the Computer Science Curriculum
Charlotte Smith from CyNam and Gfirst LEP Education and Skills Team spent time with the Minster discussing the success of the CyberFirst programme throughout Gloucestershire. Ali Mawle, co-CEO of Cheltenham Festivals, highlighted to the Minister that data science is just as an important sector as cyber that needs government focus, including looking at signposting it as a future career for students.
Mark McShane Headteacher said: “The CyberFirst Programme is making a real difference here at Stroud. Over the past few years our Computing Team have built such strong relationships with local tech companies and organisations that we were able to outline to the Minister how important it was for schools and the tech industry to work hand in hand to ensure young people receive the best computing and tech education possible.”