Allstate NI encouraging local schools to get cyber-savvy with free resources

  • Allstate NI is encouraging all schools and colleges within Northern Ireland to get CyberFirst recognition and join the five NI institutions that have already been awarded.

    Since 2018, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been piloting a Cyber Schools Hub (CSH) programme in Gloucestershire, which encourages collaboration between local schools, the NCSC, and national and local companies who want to help young people engage with computer science and cybersecurity.

    The NCSC is increasing the scale and ambition of the scheme to formally recognise more schools and colleges across the UK.

    Educational institutions that achieve this recognition can expect to be formally recognised and promoted by the NCSC, and will be provided with opportunities to engage with companies and universities seeking to invest time, expertise and resources in schools and colleges.

    Any school or college is eligible to apply and many in Northern Ireland have already received CyberFirst recognition. 

    Saint Ronan’s College in Lurgan is the only NI school to so far receive a Gold Award from the NCSC, and two Silver awards were given to South Eastern Regional College in Co. Down and St Patrick's College Dungannon. 

    The Dalriada School in Ballymoney and Knockevin Special School in Downpatrick also received Bronze awards, with the latter being the first special school to gain a CyberFirst Schools award.

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    Applications close on 18 June 2021 and completed applications can be emailed to

    Allstate NI's Victoria Logan is one of the first CyberFirst ambassadors from Northern Ireland who will be helping schools and colleges throughout the CyberFirst scheme. She is a Cybersecurity Awareness and Communication Specialist within the firm. 

    She is joined by fellow ambassadors, Vertical Structure's Simon Whittaker, Head of the NI Cyber Security Centre, Joe Dolan and Conrad Simpson, co-founder and Director of NI cybersecurity firm Cyphra.

    The NCSC will also be running CyberFirst Defenders, Futures and Advanced summer courses, which will be available for booking from 29 April 2021. These courses are designed to introduce the younger generation to the world of cybersecurity.

    There is also free cybersecurity training to raise awareness and help school staff manage some of the key cyber threats facing schools, which teachers can register for here

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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