Fife school kids take on cyber security course

Neurodivergent pupils at Levenmouth Academy have taken part in a four week taster course in cyber security, after it was found that many were likely to have natural abilities in that area.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 9:00 am
Kids at Levenmouth Academy took part.

Funded by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Scottish Government, under the strategic framework for a cyber resilient Scotland, the introduction to cyber security course was delivered by lecturers at Fife College with pupils who were autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic or diagnosed with ADHD encouraged to attend.

Evidence has suggested that those who are nerurodivergent, in particular those with autism, are likely to have the aptitudes needed for cyber security roles.

And with SDS also identifying a gap in support for these students, a fund was created to help create a short course about the protection of computer systems and networks from information disclosure, and digital forensics.

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Delivered with training and support from Autism Network Scotland, Fife College lecturers then gave a series of online lessons to the group of S3 pupils from Levenmouth highlighting the skills they had that would make them suited to a career in cyber security.

After the successful delivery of the course, the plan is now to extend this opportunity to other schools across the Fife region.

Iain Hawker, assistant principal at Fife College, said: “At Fife College we felt we could be doing more to support neurodivergent students in the region.

“We want to bridge the gap between school and college, and highlight the careers that might be available to them with the skills and qualities that they have.

“Cyber security is one industry in which these students can flourish, and with the current digital skills gap in Scotland there are a lot of opportunities in this area."

Michelle Sweeney, inclusion manager at Fife College, added: “It was great to work with this group of pupils at Levenmouth Academy and to increase their awareness of the opportunities they have available to them.”

She added: “We hope in future this can lead to us engaging with neurodivergent students across the region so we can increase their chances of reaching a positive destination following their education.”