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Connect the Classroom: is your school eligible for funding?


The DfE's Connect the Classroom scheme aims to improve internet connectivity at UK schools, with CPC supplier Clarion Communication Management logging in to explore this initiative.

In today's digital era, reliable internet connectivity is vital for effective teaching and learning in schools.

Recognising the need for improved connectivity, the UK Government launched the 'Connect the Classroom' scheme which aims to address internet-related challenges by offering funding to schools for Wi-Fi infrastructure improvements.

In this piece, we will explore the 'Connect the Classroom' scheme in detail, including its benefits, eligibility criteria, and how Clarion, a supplier on our Communications Solutions framework can help.

What is 'Connect the Classroom'?

The 'Connect the Classroom' scheme is a government-funded initiative designed to enhance internet connectivity in schools across the country.

Its primary focus is to support schools in improving their Wi-Fi infrastructure, ensuring reliable and high-speed internet access throughout the premises.

By addressing connectivity issues, this scheme aims to create an optimal learning environment and maximise the benefits of technology in education.

What are the benefits of improved connectivity?

Having reliable internet connection reduces interruptions during lessons and online activities.

Teachers can confidently integrate technology into their teaching knowing that they can rely on consistent connectivity.

Students can access online resources and participate in interactive learning experiences without unnecessary delays.

The Department for Education states that wireless networks should be upgraded to the latest standard approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) which should be configured to support network segregation and QoS.

To ensure that the speed of the connection does not slow down as more devices connect to it, a high-performance solution is necessary.

Faster speeds and improved performance contribute to more engaging and interactive lessons, empowering teachers to make the most of digital resources.

By meeting these standards, schools can create a technologically advanced learning environment, better preparing students for the challenges of the digital age and enriching their educational journey.

Which schools are eligible for funding?

Eligibility for the 'Connect the Classroom' scheme is currently limited to schools located in specific areas known as Priority Education Investment Areas listed below. It's important to consult the official document to determine if your school falls within these eligible areas.

  • Blackpool
  • Bolton
  • Bradford
  • Bury
  • Coventry
  • Derby
  • Doncaster
  • Dudley
  • Hartlepool
  • Hastings
  • Holton
  • Ipswich
  • Knowsley
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Luton
  • Norfolk
  • North Yorkshire Coast
  • Northampton
  • Norwich
  • Nottingham
  • Oldham
  • Portsmouth
  • Rochdale
  • Sandwell
  • Scarborough
  • South Tyneside
  • Stoke on Trent
  • Sunderland
  • Tameside
  • Wakefield
  • Walsall 

What's the application process?

  1. Engagement - initial contact with the DfE
  2. Assessment - submit a network asset form and fill out a survey
  3. Procurement - select your preferred supplier 
  4. Funding - if approved, DfE give the school a funding agreement 
  5. Delivery - schedule works with your chosen supplier 
  6. Finalisation - submit any cost changes to DfE
  7. Claim - submit a invoice for the works and DfE will channel payment through the responsible body

Why work with Clarion?

With over 20 years in the IT and Telecoms industry and hundreds of satisfied education customers, Clarion are able to work with your school to provide a bespoke DfE approved solution tailored to your requirements.

The Clarion team has successfully deployed Connect The Classroom-approved services to hundreds of UK schools and academies.

Clarion can provide you with an effective and comprehensive, education-focused wireless networking solution, approved by the Connect the Classroom scheme.

For help utilising the Communications Solutions framework, contact Dukefield Procurement, the framework contract managers, via [email protected] or by calling 0345 900 2877.

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