​​​​East Midlands schools given a chance to win prizes money can't buy

BT is giving schools the chance to win prizes which money couldn’t buy as part of a major scheme to extend the coverage of superfast fibre broadband.

BT is giving schools the chance to win prizes which money couldn’t buy as part of a major scheme to extend the coverage of superfast fibre broadband.

The two experiences up for grabs are a trip to the top of BT Tower for up to 30 children or a school visit from Paralympic gold medal winner Jonnie Peacock MBE.

Winners of the BT Tower prize will get the chance to meet TV presenter Jake Humphrey when visiting the revolving floor at the top of the iconic building and get a bird’s eye view of London. They will also be shown behind the scenes and get an insight into how BT is bringing superfast fibre broadband to homes and businesses across the UK.

The school that bags the visit from Jonnie Peacock MBE will get the chance to meet the sprint runner who won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Paralympics. He is a hugely inspirational figure, who will be the talk of the school for years to come.

The competition, being run by BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships scheme, is open to schools in England, Scotland and Wales. Schools wishing to enter need to fill in a simple form online at www.communityfibre.bt.com/superfastschools by 29th January 2017.

The scheme has a £2 million fund to distribute grants of up to £20,000 for community fibre partnerships that could benefit their local school. Eligible communities can apply for match funding of up to £20,000 towards the cost of a new local superfast fibre network as long as the technology is capable of serving the local school.

Two of the schools and communities already benefitting from the funding are Ditcham Park School in Hampshire and Dunedin School in Edinburgh where the teachers are excited about the new opportunities superfast fibre broadband will bring to their online capabilities and IT growth.

Rob Connolly, head teacher at Ditcham Park School, said: “This new technology will provide a leap in digital services that will benefit every single member of the school community, pupils, parents, staff and visitors.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “The way children learn these days has been totally transformed by the Internet. High-speed fibre broadband takes learning one step further in bringing learning to life, at school and at home.

“You don’t have to be eligible for a grant to enter the competition. But we would encourage any schools with less than 24Mbps internet speeds to get in touch to see if they are in any high-speed fibre broadband plans. If they’re not, our Community Fibre Partnerships team can help them look at options available.”

More than 150 communities across the country have so far signed up to a co-funded Community Fibre Partnership, delivered by Openreach, BT’s local network business, with many already enjoying the benefits of superfast broadband. The availability of these new grants will encourage even more communities to work with Openreach on bringing high-speed connectivity to their town or village.

BT’s long term ambition is to help and inspire young people in the UK to make the most of technology through initiatives such as the BT Tech Literacy Programme.

Communities interested in making an application for a grant should register their interest online at http://www.communityfibre.bt.com/