A Scottish council will launch a digital learning academy after being recognised by global tech giant Apple for its “sector-leading” education technology project.

Scottish Borders Council has been awarded Apple Professional Learning Provider (APLP) status for its ‘inspire learning’ programme, which sees iPads rolled out to all secondary school pupils and those in P6-7.

The new award will see the local authority launch a centre of excellence called the ‘Inspire Academy’ to provide support to other education technology projects and councils across the country and the rest of the world.

Education staff across the Borders will further benefit from partnerships with leading digital learning providers from around the world.

It comes at a time where the importance of the role technology will play in delivering education in the future has been increasingly emphasised.

Once established, the council’s Inspire Academy will be utilised to provide professional development opportunities and support for teachers and education leaders across the country.

In addition, the APLP status will see national education events hosted in the Borders, attracting attendees from across the UK and allowing the council’s education staff to benefit from training opportunities.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for children and young people, said: “As an Apple Professional Learning Provider we will now be able to host exclusive national events here in the Borders, bring key partners – including Apple, CGI (our IT partner), Education Scotland and others – to invest in, highlight and support the Inspire Learning vision, and use it as a national example of good practice that can help similar projects in other areas of the country and further afield. 

“We see many potential opportunities for our teachers and young people as leading members of a global community of best practice in education and see this as a way to add enormous richness and value to learning experiences in our region.

“We will soon be bringing forward more detailed plans for the initial launch of this new venture and look forward to sharing these with everyone as we enter such an exciting new chapter in the inspire learning journey.”

Apple Professional Learning Providers support schools to build the foundations for a successful implementation of Apple technology. They help educators use Apple products and develop skills, supporting one or more learning, teaching, coding or deployment and management objectives.