It’s a UK first as Borders pupils are inspired to use technology for home learning

The Scottish Borders is leading the way in home education with pupils at every secondary school in the region using the latest digital technology to learn during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 3:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th May 2020, 3:44 pm
Pupils have been provided with iPads and a suite of the most up-to-date learning tools.

Statistics show over 96 per cent of young people are accessing learning resources and experiences through Scottish Borders Council’s ground-breaking Inspire Learning programme.

Nearly 6300 pupils are in possession of an iPad and a suite of the most up-to-date learning tools.

The roll-out of the programme was accelerated so it could be completed before the Covid-19 lockdown as the global outbreak reached Scotland.

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This made Scottish Borders Council the first local authority in the UK to deliver such a programme of change to every secondary student and allowed teachers to deliver dynamic lessons as pupils studied remotely from home.

Tracey Logan, Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Council, said: “Our young people are in a unique position. Through Inspire Learning every secondary school pupil is in possession of a managed iPad, and a suite of apps and tools to ensure they are learning at home through  digital technology in  the best way possible.

“Their teachers also have iPads, allowing them to deliver the curriculum from their own homes. It means they can interact directly with young people, especially our more vulnerable learners, give instant feedback and use innovative tools to get the best  experience of learning. 

“At this time when all young people across the UK are being asked to work and learn remotely, we are delighted with the safe and secure access to learning tools that Inspire Learning is bringing to our young people. 

“Parental engagement has increased over the period of the programme and crucially young people are able to showcase their learning in creative and innovative ways using technology.

“Latest stats show 96 per cent of our young people are successfully engaging with Inspire Learning at home. Teacher usage is at a similar level.

“We believe we are currently the  only council in the country delivering this type of digital learning at home in such a comprehensive way.”

Inspire Learning is run in partnership with SBC’s IT partner CGI, alongside XMA and Apple.

The roll-out of Inspire to primary schools is also ahead of schedule.

In another first, 540 iPads have been delivered to the homes of every primary teacher in the region.

This will enable teachers to familiarise themselves with their devices and carry out the required training ahead of every primary 6 and 7 pupil getting an iPad. Children in P1-P5 will also share devices.

Tracey Logan continued: “We continue to break new ground with Inspire Learning and I’m delighted that primary school teachers are now fully on board. I must thank the Inspire team which comprises of dedicated staff from SBC, CGI and partners who have made this happen so quickly.

“Inspire has quickly become embedded at the heart of what learning and teaching looks like in the Borders. Its ambitions were clear and direct: to raise attainment, support equity and inclusion, and help prepare young people for a digital future.

“I look forward to seeing it grow further to the benefit of all young people in the Scottish Borders.”

The Council will shortly be looking for more views from parents on how home learning is working for their children through an online survey.

More information on this will be sent directly to parents and carers.