In January 2004, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft covering a five year period of collaboration. This partnership provided a model for the development of SQA's Digital Media and ICT Vendor Alliance (DIVA) programme.
In June 2005, SQA and Microsoft signed a three year 'Partners in Learning' agreement, building on the early work of the DIVA collaboration. Partners in Learning is a Microsoft education investment initiative, delivered in Scotland as a partnership between SQA and Microsoft, and guided by an Advisory Council with representatives from Learning and Teaching Scotland, HM Inspectorate of Education, the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland and others.
In the college sector, the Partners in Learning programme for Scotland has focused on renewing the ICT Vocational Skills curriculum including:
- New curriculum and awards for ICT technicians and network & software engineers.
- Early input to the PC Passport award, now the fastest growing qualification in SQA's portfolio.
- Establishment of a College-based consortium to support lecturers delivering new awards.
This is now being extended to include:
- Collaboration on the new Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum
In the schools sector, the Partners in Learning programme has focused on:
- Helping Scottish schools to take advantage of the Innovative Teachers programme
- Running a Challenge Fund distributing small grants to classroom teachers to support innovative projects using ICT in the broadest sense
- Roll out of the New Zealand Sports Store Pilot, a fun-based educational game designed to teach enterprise skills
To find out about the Innovative Teachers programme, download the write-ups below:
- Launch of the Partners in Learning SQA Innovative Teacher Project
- Workshop for the Partners in Learning SQA Innovative Teachers Project in progress
- The Winners! Partners in Learning SQA Innovative Teachers Awards
To read stories from Aberdeen College, Adam Smith College, Edinburgh's Stevenson College, Stow College and Cardonald College, and find out more about the Partner in Learning initiative in Scotland, download the case study.
To find out more about the PC Passport award, a suite of IT user tools that has proved hugely popular not only with schools but also citizens, employers and the workforce, visit the PC Passport section.