Rise in remote learning prompts launch of Digital Wellbeing Award

The Digital Wellbeing Award has been designed to support cyber resilience and internet safety in Scottish schools

The recent increase in remote learning has led to the launch in of a Digital Wellbeing Award.

With pupils spending a greater amount of time online, and the commensurate increase in risk, Scotland’s Digital Schools Awards (DSA) has established the new initiative to help support cyber resilience and internet safety in schools.

“Digital Schools Awards was created to help schools develop and maintain positive and resilient digital practices in learning and teaching,” said Anna Doody, DSA programme manager.

“Ensuring children have the skills to recognise, react to, and recover from online harms is a natural progression of our work with the education sector.”

The new award is an evolution of the CR-IS (cyber resilience and internet safety) badge, launched in 2019, and follows the increased demand on schools to include digital wellbeing as part of their wider pastoral care. Like CR-IS, the initiative will be offered as a stand-alone badge.

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Cyber resilience is a key ambition of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework for a Cyber Resilient Scotland, published in February 2021.

“Ensuring our young people enjoy a positive experience online is a priority, and this new framework will support education, practitioners and learners to foster a community-led cyber resilience and internet safety approach to recognise, react and recover within the digital world,” said Ollie Bray, strategic director of Education Scotland, the executive agency charged with supporting quality and improvement in Scottish education.

To earn the new badge, schools will be required to “show that they have embedded cyber resilience and internet safety into their planning and across all subjects, while also implementing a positive and supportive digital wellbeing ethos”.

DSA was launched in Scottish primaries in 2016 – in partnership with Education Scotland, the Scottish government’s child protection unit, Police Scotland, and Hewlett-Packard – to help encourage them to infuse digital skills across the curriculum.

It was extended into secondary schools the following year.

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