We are incredibly please to formally announce our accreditation by National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ) as a CyberFirst School and have been awarded Silver which is defined as:
“Delivering good standards in cyber security education”
As the first school within the Greater Manchester area to be awarded Silver, this is momentous in recognising our Cyber Security offer here at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls.
We received our accreditation at BAE Systems in Samlesbury by The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP – Secretary of State for Defence.
The NCSC has strict criteria for recognising schools at each level, and the assessment process was rigorous. Based on our forward-thinking Computing curriculum at Key Stage 3, high achieving cohorts at GCSE and A Level, and our commitment to ongoing professional development, keeping abreast of developments in the information security landscape we have been awarded Silver.
As part of this, the school will gain an industry partner who will help drive our offer further and prepare our students for the evolving digital landscape which awaits them. The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP stated in his address at the awards, that Lancashire and Greater Manchester are at the heart of the Government’s drive to strengthen the UK’s Cyber defences and offences, which is why we are a home to GCHQ, and now, the National Cyber Force (NCF) which is opening a site at Samlesbury in the coming years.
The contributions from the computing department (Mr Capon, Mrs Kirby and myself), the IT team, Mrs Russell, Heads of Departments and everyone else involved cannot be understated, whilst the award focusses on our offer of CyberSecurity it also acknowledges our excellent cross-curricular use of Computing and STEM.
On a personal note, as Cyber Security is a genuine passion of mine, which was carried through into my degree in Computer Forensics and Security at university, I am truly honoured to have been able to share my knowledge and experience with not only the staff but the students at AGGS, some of whom have been inspired to go into this sector themselves (in fact, I bumped into a former AGGS Computing A Level student a short while ago at BSidesLeeds – an information security conference – where she said she is incredibly happy to have made the choice to go into Cyber Security), I can only hope to see us grow with the sector and to see many more of our students pursue a career in cyber.
Once again, many thanks to all that contributed to our accreditation process.
Mr J Starnes – BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics and Security, MBCS
Cyberfirst Schools – https://www.cyberfirstschools.co.uk/about-cyberfirst/
National Cyber Security Centre – https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberfirst/overview
BAE Systems – https://www.baesystems.com/en-uk/heritage/samlesbury