What are Cyber Schools Hubs?
Local schools and their teachers, supported by the NCSC, will form two pilot hubs using cyber security as a way to:
- encourage a diverse range of students into taking up computer science
- support students throughout the course
- develop new content and resources to be made widely available for teachers
Why is the NCSC involved?
The NCSC, through initiatives like CyberFirst, is working to address the current cyber security skills gap. We have a part to play in developing the talent pipeline that is necessary to meet the UK’s future cyber security needs. Local initiatives, such as a Maths Hub, has demonstrated that much can be gained from forming central schools hubs focusing on one key subject area.
As a major employer in Gloucestershire GCHQ/NCSC has a history of outreach to local schools in language and STEM skills. These new Cyber Schools Hubs have been selected through a competitive tender process and they will, with NCSC support, be hosting events, trialling cyber security content, developing new ways of engaging pupils and building educational resources for teachers. After using this initial year to test the concept and particular approaches we hope to have a model that can be replicated across the UK.
During this pilot the schools, Cleeve Consortia (consisting of Cleeve School and Beaufort Co-operative Academy) and Newent School will also work to engage with other schools across the county.
How you can get involved
Teachers at primary and senior school level and parent/governors can get involved by getting in touch with their local hub. Both Cleeve and Beaufort will be running outreach programmes in the not too distant future. Keep an eye on their webpages.
Teaching resources will be made available to all through the schools websites and also the Computing at Schools website
Local companies can get involved by getting in touch with their local hub. We encourage and welcome support from local and national industry.
What the Cyber Schools Hubs say
"At Cleeve School, we have already put Cyber Security front and centre, dealing with it in multiple ways according to the audience. With the opportunities offered through our involvement in the Cyber Schools Hub, we’re looking forward to not only strengthening our own learners’ knowledge, but sharing it with both primary and secondary schools. The online world is in a continual state of flux, and we need to equip our learners, parents and staff not just to manage today’s risks, but to anticipate and consider those to come."
Computer Science teacher, Cleeve School
"Cleeve School is delighted to be the lead school in the Cyber Schools Hubs project. We are very aware of the significant role ‘cyber’ is playing in our young people’s lives and will continue to do so in the future. Our involvement in the Cyber Schools Hubs project will allow our young people to directly benefit from the expertise utilised and developed, and we look forward to helping improve the development of cyber and computer science skills across the region."
Alwyn Richards, Cleeve School Principal
Please see the Cleeve School website for details of pilot progress and any upcoming events: http://www.cleeveschool.net/
Beaufort Co-operative Academy
"We, at Beaufort, pride ourselves on our creative and innovative education and are delighted to be at the cutting edge of cyber-intelligence technologies. Our aim is to inspire and delight young students and illustrate the world of opportunities opened up through Computer Science. We will do this by using technology creatively both in the classroom and in the community.
Being part of the Cyber Schools Hubs pilot will allow us to serve as the principal provider of cyber awareness education both within our school and to our feeder schools in Gloucestershire. We plan to educate and raise vigilance of cyber-threats that pose a risk to individuals through our cyber security education."
Computer Science teacher, Beaufort Co-operative Academy
"This exciting project represents a fantastic opportunity for the whole community at Beaufort Co-operative Academy. Through the spirit of collaboration and partnership with other schools and industry partners it will inspire the next generation of highly skilled and qualified scientists and engineers. This is a genuine chance to be at the forefront of national development in this area and I feel privileged to be a part of it."
David Bishop, Beaufort Co-operative Academy Head
Please see the Beaufort school website for details of pilot progress and any upcoming events: http://beaufort.coop/
Newent Community School
"I am genuinely excited at the prospect of supporting the NCSC and GCHQ to develop a unique Cyber-Hub at Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students and all young people in Gloucestershire. Our goal is to provide a real-world learning and exploration environment for students while raising awareness of the exciting career opportunities in the information security sector. By adopting a teaching model where the relevance to young people is explicit from the outset, we encourage all students and especially girls to re-evaluate their perceptions of computing and information technology.
With the number of cyber-attacks rising year on year the potential for our students to get a head start in one of the fastest developing industries in the world is simply amazing. The Cyber-Hub at Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre will ensure that our students are the best placed and best equipped for some of the most varied and rewarding jobs in the world. Running throughout this initiative is our spiral PSHE programme that has received both national and international recognition and is widely regarded as a model of outstanding practice. Unlike traditional models, PSHE at Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre is uniquely responsive to emerging issues and is agile and adaptive to the challenges that young people face. It prepares young people for the 21st Century by creating the culture, systems and practices necessary to achieve the best learning outcomes in the modern, digital era."
Alan Johnson, Newent Community School Principal
"Young people’s lives are increasingly dominated by the digital world. This world is changing and developing at a rapid pace. Although it undoubtedly offers great opportunities, there are also many potential dangers. As educators, we must ensure that young people are safe and have the knowledge to make positive choices in all areas of this digital world.
I believe Personal Social Health Education is the ideal platform for delivering and promoting positive digital resilience. We are confident that our Cyber-Hub will enable us to create, develop, promote and deliver resources and information that will support all schools to prepare young people for the risks and opportunities of the digital world."
School Head of PSHE, Newent Community School
"I am delighted that Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre is supporting the NCSC and GCHQ. This is a great opportunity for our Cyber-Hub to develop tools and educational resources that will benefit Gloucestershire and other schools both locally and nationally. Enhanced opportunities at Newent will ensure that all young people within our community develop their understanding of cyber security from an early age. This fantastic opportunity will help to prepare them for the jobs of the future and ensure that this country is fully equipped with a cyber savvy work force."
Head of IT and Computing, Newent Community School
Please see the Newent Community School website for details of pilot progress and any upcoming events: http://newent.gloucs.sch.uk/
Supporters of the Cyber Schools Hubs initiative
The South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (RCCU) is also supporting the Cyber Schools hub, as part of its Cyber Futures initiative. The South West RCCU are responsible for investigating ‘Cyber Dependent Crime,’ such as computer and network intrusions, DDoS attacks, the use of malware tools and work in collaboration with the five police forces in the South West region.
Research around how and why people get into cyber crime has identified that many start their offending journey at a young age (some as young as 12) with the average age of arrest being 17. The RCCU's goal is to Inform, Engage and Inspire young people to learn and use their skills ethically and legally, diverting individuals as early as possible and enabling them to have bright Cyber Futures.
The RCCU believes more can be done to educate young people, parents and teachers about what is legal and how to spot the signs of someone who is being drawn into cyber crime - engagement with educational establishments, such as the NCSC Cyber School Hubs, is a fantastic opportunity for the RCCU to achieve this goal.
Prof. Buck Rogers, Chief Information Security Officer/Chief Security Officer, Bank of England said, in support of the NCSC and Cyber Schools Hubs;
“As the central bank of the UK, security has always been at the heart of our mission. Since 1694 we’ve been tasked with protecting valuable gold bars in our vaults and designing intricate banknotes that are difficult to counterfeit. Our role has changed and expanded since 1694, as have the threats against us. Underground vaults can’t protect our digital assets and so we need dedicated professionals who can understand cyber risk and be our first line of defence.
So it’s more important than ever that we inspire young people who will be the future of keeping our organisations safe from potential threats and vulnerabilities. That’s why we are proud to support the Cyber Schools Hubs initiative and its work with the wider community.”
Numerous companies both small and large are also supporting the Cyber Schools Hubs, currently these include Northrop Grumman and Cyber Security Associates.