Microsoft and London Grid for Learning aim to transform education in London

Microsoft and London Grid for Learning (LGfL) are aiming to transform education in London after teaming up to boost the use of digital skills and tools in classrooms across the capital.

The technology company and LGfL have launched the Cloud Champions programme, which brings together a pilot group of 50 schools, academies, multi-academy trusts and local authorities to embed technology in teaching.

Microsoft will help teachers use products such as OneNote, Sway and Teams to encourage collaboration and creativity across the curriculum.

A girl at school uses a mouse and computer
Microsoft and LGfL want to embed technology in teaching

Under the partnership, senior leaders in schools will receive training and professional development courses to boost their impact in the classroom; institutions taking part will become members of the global Microsoft Schools programme, which focuses on how to transform education and integrate technology; attendance to three events throughout the year – two at Microsoft’s London office and one at BETT, the education technology trade show; priority access to the Microsoft Imagine Academy, which provides up-to-date curricula and resources to train and certify students and educators on Microsoft products and technologies; and the opportunity to share best practice with other educators across London.

Ian Fordham, Director of Education at Microsoft, said: “Microsoft LGfL Cloud Champions is a strategic programme to accelerate technology and innovation across London’s schools and beyond. The chance to work together with these 50 pioneering schools is a great leap forward and we are excited about the potential to share our latest technology tools from Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Minecraft to Virtual and Mixed Reality.

“LGfL are changing the face of technology and learning across London; we now want to work together to empower every educator and student across London to achieve more.”

LGfL represents more than 2,500 schools and local authorities in London, providing broadband, cloud and network services and resources to support thousands of young people in the capital’s schools each year.

John Jackson, Chief Executive at LGfL said: “LGfL is delighted to be involved in a game-changing technology partnership with Microsoft to help children reach their potential, inspire teachers and energise teaching and learning. The Cloud Champions programme will nurture excellence, incubate innovation and foster collaboration across the capital to accelerate opportunity for all schools and learners. We really look forward to working with educators to put London at the leading edge of digital teaching practice, while working tirelessly to keep children safe and ensure no one gets left behind.”

The partnership was officially launched at the E2 conference at Microsoft’s London office recently. The free, three-day event, led by educators and education technology experts, was held to “recognise and celebrate the achievements of educators who combine content, pedagogy and technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for success in the 21st century”.

A teacher helps a boy use a laptop
LGfL represents more than 2,500 schools and local authorities in London

The event reinforced Microsoft’s commitment to teaching digital skills. The company has committed to training 30,000 public servants for free, allowing those UK government and public sector organisations to deliver better, more efficient and modern services to people across the country.

Microsoft has also committed to making sure everyone in the UK has access to free, online digital literacy training that will prepare them for a world in which companies, schools and governments embrace technology to transform how they work.

Additionally, Microsoft is also launching a Cloud Skills Initiative, which will train 500,000 people in the UK in advanced cloud technology skills by 2020.