Looking for new ideas for 2008? Perhaps you've got IT skills on your list of development areas for your staff? And also "raising funds for school" is one of the action items that's been on your list for a while?

Well, those are basically some of the ideas behind the Microsoft IT Academy. With almost 600 IT Academies in colleges and schools around the UK, the programme has become very established.

One of the first IT Academies in the country was Sawtry Community College. As well as addressing the needs of their students and the wider community, Alan Stevens who is an Associate Principal at the college, explained that they're also addressing other issues:

 “It is essential that we improve staff IT skills. We wanted to take charge of maintaining our online curriculum and offer more information across the school using the portal. This reflects the Training Development Agency’s change in emphasis from merely training teachers to school-wide staff development reforms.”

Once you have Microsoft IT Academy certification, you are able to provide courses and qualifications to students, staff and the wider local community (where the "Microsoft" certification helps get your message spread widely).

You can read about Sawtry's experiences at our worldwide case studies website and find out more about the programme at the IT Academy UK website