Eligible secondary schools or colleges in CyberFirst school regions can apply to be a part of our CyberFirst Schools and Colleges scheme.
Successful applicants receive NCSC recognition via their CyberFirst Award status as either Bronze, Silver or Gold. Becoming a CyberFirst School means becoming a part of the growing national CyberFirst education eco-system.
CyberFirst Schools and Colleges are promoted as leaders who are committed to providing a structured approach to excellence in cyber security education.
The application process
CyberFirst will release a call for applications. Application documents and key dates will be published on the same page - please click "How to Apply" to view.
Expression of interest
Submit a completed expression of interest form by the deadline - please do not apply without submitting this first. Please double check the list of eligible regions before submitting as applications from other regions will not be accepted.
After receiving the expression of interest form, you will be invited to one of our information sessions to learn more about the application process and benefits of the scheme.
Apply + independent review panel
Complete the relevant application form with all your evidence - example applications can be found at the end of this page. An independent review panel of representatives from government, industry and academia will fairly assess all applications. In some cases where evidence may be unclear, CyberFirst may ask for additional evidence at the panel's request. To maintain fairness, CyberFirst will not be able to provide any details beyond the numbered requirement.
Outcome + feedback
CyberFirst will notify you of the assessment outcome and offer the opportunity for feedback. The outcome of all assessments will be embargoed until the NCSC formally announces the results.
‘Aspiring to provide excellence in cyber security education’
Successful applications meeting the Bronze Criteria will be awarded the CyberFirst School/College Bronze Award.
They will have evidenced aspirational goals to deliver good cyber security education, as well as their plan, supported by Senior Leadership, to achieve them.
The Bronze Award is awarded for 1 year, after which the school/college must apply for a Silver or Gold Award.
‘Delivering good standards of cyber security education’
A successful application achieving the Silver Award Criteria will be recognised as a CyberFirst School/College - Silver Award.
As well as evidencing their commitment to delivering good standards of cyber security education, they must also have plans to achieve Gold Award, which is fully supported by their Senior Leadership Team (SLT).
The Silver Award will be for a period of up to 2 years during which the school/college must apply for Gold Award recognition to ensure that there is no period where a school/college does not have an award in place.
‘Delivering excellence in cyber security education’
A successful application that achieves the Gold Award Criteria will be recognised as a CyberFirst School/College - Gold Award.
They will have evidenced their commitment and dedication to delivering excellence in cyber security education.
The Gold Award will be awarded for a period of 3 years.
Benefits of the scheme
Benefits of the scheme
Successful applicants can expect to:
Make your school or college stand out from the crowd with formal NCSC recognition
Be a part of the growing CyberFirst education eco-system
Benefit from future opportunities exclusive to CyberFirst Schools and Colleges
Receive support from the regional CyberFirst Ambassador Team and over 150 CyberFirst Members across industry, academia and government
Help support the OFSTED/ESTYN/ETNI framework and GATSBY Benchmarks
CyberFirst Schools Regions
The overall aim of the programme is to recognise schools/colleges in eligible regions, whose approach to cyber and cyber security education is excellent.
As well as seeking secondary schools/colleges who solely focus on cyber education within their institution, we are also looking for those who are exemplary leaders of cyber excellence in education by collaborating and sharing with others.
Secondary schools or colleges within the following regions will be able to apply when invited to do so:
North East of England (Durham, Tyne & Wear, Northumberland)
South West of England (Dorset, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset & Wiltshire)