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Digital Strategic Lead? Navigating the CPD journey #WomenEd Tech

Digital Strategic Lead? Navigating the CPD journey #WomenEdTech

By Clare Erasmus  @cerasmusteach

Welcome to the final blog in our series of seven tech blogs from the inaugural meeting of our new private space for #WomenEdTech. Here, Clare takes a look at her path to becoming a digital strategic lead.

A few years ago I was Head of the Digital Tech subjects and the Senior Mental Health Lead at my school. In 2019 our school won the Bett Award for Impact to Education for a Mental Health & Well-Being App that had been designed by the young people. I was convinced that a school with a strong digital strategy and focus on mental health was going to be a Happy, Successful school.

I then started to look for ways that I could up-skill myself to become a Digital Strategic Lead in a school. First thing I did was lean in and join @WomenEd_Tech, which is a #WomenEd Twitter network

Back then, a few things troubled me. 

There were very few courses and the positions did not seem available in many schools. It also felt quite male-dominated, with IT Network Leaders with no teaching experience solely directing the course of travel in many schools. 

I knew I needed experience in digital governance, safeguarding and security to name a few, but how?

I was delighted to find Chartered College of Teaching and Future Learn had teamed up to deliver the course Leadership of Education Technology in Schools. 

I devoured the course hosted by Hannah Tyreman and I loved reading and listening to #EdTech Leaders like Dr Neelam Parmar FCCT and Jules Daulby and many more, narrating their case studies and giving advice.

Then the pandemic hit and we were all thrown into the Digital Abyss. 

What a baptism of fire!

As a Faculty Lead, I didn't look back and I line-managed 3 KS4 subjects to cross over to a 100% digital delivery.


We achieved excellent above national average GCSE results, which is significant impact delivered using Tech and saving huge sums on budget.

Since then, I have changed to a Portsmouth school and now I am mastering the Google Ecosystem for a 100% online delivery for our students. I was delighted when my Head Teacher Nick Giles and Multi-Academy Trust TKAT signed me up to an Apprenticeship program, the Digital Champions, run by Portsmouth Council and Primary Goal and spearheaded by the powerhouse team of Gemma Gwilliam, Louise Salmon and Louise Campton

This is part of the strategy to have a Digital Strategic Lead in every school in Portsmouth.

I'll get to dig deep into the digital vision for my school, network with #EdTech professionals for guidance and ideas, and I'll have the time to focus on what digital strategic leadership looks like. I'm so looking forward to being able to reflect, plan, implement and review change and ultimately make a real difference to the lives of our students and support for our staff.

More recently, I have worked closely with Bukky Yusuf FCCT FRSA the #EdTech trailblazer and Co-chair of DFE EdTech Leadership Group, one of the founders of #WomenEd Vivienne Porritt OBE FRSA FCCT, and #WomenEd web/tech manager Gemma O'Brien, to help create the private LinkedIn group #WomenEdTech.


We wrote about why in a recent blog.

"We have women leading schools in tech, yet they are in isolation, so we know there's a need for a forum, a safe space where we can take risks, try out things, practice our skills, somewhere it's OK to make mistakes. It can be very intimidating for some women as the existing communities are mostly male.

It will be a space where we have the choice to post, blog and interact with each other privately, always giving advice and guidance where we can and, above all, encourage each other to be 10%Braver."

Join us here.

Let's network, #EmbraceEquity and #Representation in the #EdTech landscape.

Let's build and empower a diverse community of Women in #EdTech to step up to leadership and take a seat at the table .

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Monday, 27 March 2023

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