Connect the Classroom is a DfE-funded programme that provides selected schools with a grant to upgrade their wireless networks and infrastructure, including switches and wireless access points.
The programme is being rolled-out in waves, first commencing in 2021. The initial waves of the programmed had a focus on rural schools that were part of the DfE and DCMS fibre broadband upgrade programme from 2018 (either the Rural Gigabit connectivity or Local Full fibre Networks pilot programmes).
The first waves of the programme were completed in 2021, there is a current wave being implemented and handed-over in late 2022, with the next waves (wave 5 and wave 6) expected to be implemented during 2023 and 2024. See our recent post Connect The Classroom Wave 5 for more details.
How does Connect the Classroom programme work?
If your school or academy trust is eligible for the network upgrades, you will be asked to undertake a technical evaluation of your current network, including an assessment of the upgrades required, such as the number of wireless access points and switches you will need. The next stage is project planning, followed by deployment of the system, sign-off and handover to your IT team or IT support provider.
How is eligibility decided?
The Connect the Classroom programme covers over 50 selected local authorities. The majority of schools are in areas designated by the DfE as priority education investment areas. If your school is in a priority education investment area, you should be included in the programme. In addition, schools in any of the selected local authorities that were rated as Requires Improvement or Inadequate in their most recent Ofsted inspection should be included in the programme.
Are we eligible for Connect the Classroom?
As an installer of Connect the Classroom projects, we can help find out if you are eligible. You can contact us about Connect the Classroom if you would like help checking your eligibility for the grant.
If you have already had your eligibility confirmed by the DfE and would like help with the technical evaluation, planning and implementation, please contact us today.