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Posted 24.04.20

DFE: Platform Provisioning Programme for
Google G Suite

Today, the Department for Education (DFE) announced a brand new ‘Platform Provisioning Programme’. The new programme has been designed to ensure that schools can support remote education through the set-up of a safe and secure deployment of a central assessment, collaboration and storage system. Your school can choose either Google or Office 365 as the most prevalent existing education Platforms.

As a Google for Education partner, Sync have been selected to support Google and the DFE in this programme, providing a fully managed set up of Google’s G Suite for Education & Google Classroom services.

So what do you get and how do you access this for your School or Mutli Academy Trust (MAT)?

When is the programme open?

The DFE’s Platform Provisioning Programme is open from today (Friday 24th April), an end date hasn’t been announced. To our understanding, this is a temporary programme in response to the COVID 19 situation, as the majority of schools are closed and implementing distance learning (we have a webinar series on some top tips if you want to learn more).

Who can apply?

From 24 April, schools and responsible bodies can apply for Department for Education-funded support to get set up on one of two free-to-use digital education platforms: G Suite for Education and Office 365 Education.

Only English state funded schools can apply, as Wales, Scotland and NI already have environments setup such as HWB in Wales.
Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and MATs can apply for support. Full eligibility criteria here.

What do you get with G Suite?

As a Google for Education Partner we will setup everything you need, so you can take advantage of these tools and not have to get involved with the technical configuration or get bogged down in techie talk. G Suite from Google is a collection of cloud based productivity and collaboration tools which enables schools to work faster and smarter, and from anywhere and on a whole host of devices.

G Suite includes Gmail and Hangouts for communication, Drive for storage and Docs, Sheets, Slides and more for productivity and collaboration and for schools, Classroom. Using the Admin portal schools can also manage users and Chrome devices.

– Google Classroom

Google classroom enables teachers and students to share files, tasks and assignments through an online, paperless platform. Classroom will streamline creating, distributing work and enable for feedback and assessment as if you where in the physical classroom.

– Google For Communication

Gmail enables every student and teacher to have access to an email inbox which can be set to only receive and deliver email with other users in your school.  Hangouts is a virtual meeting space for students and teachers when email just wont do. Hangouts can be great for show and tell projects and people can even share their screen with the rest of the group.

– Google For Storage

Drive is a storage place for your online school life. Each teacher and student will storage their Doc, Sheets, Slides and more in Drive. People can quickly share documents and folders from their Drive and Admins can create Shared Drives to make collaboration even easier. The best part, for Education there is no storage limits!

– Google For Productivity and Collaboration

Docs, Sheets and Slides are your go to Apps for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. Students and teachers can work on the same document, make notes and see what others are doing within these apps which makes real time collaboration fun and exciting. If you’re new to G Suite and the productivity apps but have Microsoft documents no need to re-invent the wheel. Docs, Sheets and Slides will open these too.

Docs, Sheets and Slides are just the start of the Apps available in G Suite, Administrators can add more Apps to further enhance your online teaching and learning experience.

– Google For Admins

G Suite is administered through a central online portal in a web browser. Admins can create users, groups, OUs and more in bulk (or through their MIS) and apply browser, device and app settings.

Settings can be applied to all users, or select groups, which means teachers don’t need to worry about the technology and can be focused on teaching and learning.

But does it cost you anything?

The Department for Education has agreed to pay for this programme so partners can deliver this service for you cost neutral. The DFE will pay the school directly and the partner will invoice the School for the set agreed amount that the DFE will be paying schools (VAT will be claimed back by your School as usual).

If you decide you want more work done, or want to get devices like iPad or ChromeBooks this is not included in the cost; however Google Partners like us can assist you further after the project is completed.

Applying to DFE Platform Provisioning Programme

Now all you need to do to get this started for your school, simply click the below ‘Support Request’ link to be taken to the direct form to apply, and if you would like us to deliver this project for you please enter ‘GBM’ as your deployment partner.

If you would like to learn more or have questions on further eligibility criteria please visit the Key Portal which the government is using for this programme.

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