Stuart and I haven’t blogged about Microsoft’s IT Academy programme yet, although I’m not sure why not. At any rate, I’ve had two experiences recently that image made me want to share this programme – and the opportunities it provides – with you.

For those of you who don’t know, the Microsoft IT Academy programme offers schools the chance to deliver Microsoft’s IT training and qualifications to your students, staff and even your wider community. The qualifications that you can deliver will help your students (or parents in your community) raise their skills to prepare for business roles, or potentially for technical employment as web developers or systems administrators.

Once you’ve signed up to be an IT Academy, the scheme includes

  • Free Microsoft eLearning (over 300 courses)
  • Free Microsoft software licences
  • Massive discounts on Microsoft Certifications and Courseware
  • Free MSDNAA and TechNet Plus subscription
  • Free Microsoft Certified Trainer Membership

Even though this sounds like it might be another free birthday gift from Stuart and me, it's not; there is a membership fee to join the IT Academy programme. However, a recent meeting I attended at the SSAT was one of the things that prompted me to tell you about the IT Academy programme. Thanks to an agreement we made with the SSAT earlier this year, the cost for a specialist school to join the IT Academy is less than £600 per year. This is a great deal - especially if you factor in the cost of the MSDNAA and TechNet plus subsriptions.

As the IT Academy programme is currently offered in about 2/3 of UK colleges and universities, I wasn't sure how relevant it was to

schools until I visited Sawtry Community College in Cambridgeshire and saw their IT Academy in action. Sawtry uses the IT Academy to offer training to teachers and students at their own school, but they also use the Academy to offer trainings to other schools in the region and to parents and other adult learners in the community. It's become a great training opportunity for Sawtry. (To learn more about what Sawtry is doing with the IT Academy programme, see this case study about them.

 

If you'd like more information about the IT Academy programme, there's quite a bit on Microsoft's web site.  It might be easier for you to just give our partner Prodigy Learning a call to explore whether this is the right opportunity for your school, and if so, how to get involved. You can email them or reach them directly on this number: 0845 3991553    

 

We hope you find this useful for your schools.