Cirencester College wins top CyberFirst Schools Award

Cirencester College has been recognised as receiving a top award for putting cyber skills first in a national initiative, ‘CyberFirst Schools’.

Local schools in Gloucestershire have become the first in the country to receive gold, silver or bronze status by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – as part of a new initiative which recognises excellence in cyber security education. Cirencester College received silver status, as a result of the College’s commitment to equipping learners with the digital and cyber skills that they will require during future careers.

The CyberFirst Schools programme recognises schools and colleges that share the NCSC’s passion to address the cyber skills gap and inspire young people from all backgrounds to pursue a career in the field. Schools in Gloucestershire and Wales that applied in this first round of the programme demonstrated work ranging from an all-female competition to develop a gaming computer to a ‘Mars rover’ being built and sent into near space.

Cirencester College Principal Jim Grant said:

“We are delighted to be part of this scheme and will be ‘going for gold’ as soon as we are able to. Our work with schools to broaden uptake of courses leading to cyber careers will be significantly boosted by the new Digital Building we hope to open in partnership with gFirst LEP. Cyber education is central to many of the new T-levels we are launching and which will provide students with the skills and experience to enter this exciting industry.”

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said:

“I congratulate these schools on achieving CyberFirst Schools status – they are the first to do so and their award is thoroughly merited. It was great to see the innovative work going on in these schools and we look forward to inviting more to take part and go for gold. The CyberFirst Schools programme will help us set a consistent standard for cyber security education as we continue to develop a diverse and talented next generation of cyber experts.”

The schools are now being sent their plaques and applications will shortly be opened up to schools in other parts of the country.

Find out more about the CyberFirst schools initiative here.

Read more about our landmark digital building (pictured) here.