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One of Newbattle High School's Digital Champions, Lewis Letchford. Photo credit: Rob Gray/Midlothian Council

One of Newbattle High School's Digital Champions, Lewis Letchford. Photo credit: Rob Gray/Midlothian Council

Pilot projects

The DDI Skills Gateway is piloting innovative projects, before rolling out successful ideas across the region. Our initial focus is on the school sector, with the aim of supporting teachers to be digital educators of digitally-fluent students at all 528 schools in Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian, Borders, and Fife. Here’s just one example of how we’re doing this.

In the village of Newbattle, seven miles south of Edinburgh, Midlothian Council has set up the first in a series of knowledge sharing schools within the City Region. As a Digital Centre of Excellence, Newbattle aims to lead the sector in the use of digital technologies to educate children, and create innovative learner journeys that will equip students to thrive in the digital economy.

The project feeds into wider skills innovation through a well-designed and coherent curriculum from nursery upwards, based on inspiring materials delivered by teachers who are confident and competent in data education. In the spirit of the City Region Deal’s partnership approach, the project is fostering productive collaborations with other City Region schools, staff and students at the University of Edinburgh, local employers, and other social partners.

With robust evaluation in place and internationally leading research and knowledge-sharing to deepen our understanding of how data impacts society, the lessons from this project – and the whole City Region Deal – will be used to further our guiding principle of inclusive growth. Combining increased prosperity with greater equality is the challenge of our times, and we want to share the social and economic benefits of data-driven innovation.