Cyber Guidance for Education

The CyberFirst Programme

Launched in May 2016, and inspired and led by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, CyberFirst began as a programme of opportunities helping young people explore their passion for tech by introducing them to the world of cyber security.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) strives to identify new ways to build the UK's talent pipeline.

Our investment in skills helps the UK remain a world leader in cyber security by developing the talent we have and attracting the best and brightest people to the industry.

CyberFirst is a programme of opportunities to help young people aged 11 - 17 years explore their passion for tech by introducing them to the fast paced world of cyber security.

CyberFirst covers a broad range of activities:

  • The CyberFirst Trailblazers course for 11-12 year-olds is a free half day event designed to showcase the varied opportunities that can be achieved through the understanding of how technology is used in the workplace.
  • The CyberFirst Girls’ Competition for 11-12 year-olds has become a key fixture of the school calendar with many schools returning year after year to take part in a team event, with each team made up of four female students.
  • The CyberFirst Adventurers course for 13-14 year-old is a free half day event that will excite and enthuse students with an interest in technology, both in what we use now and in the future.
  • The CyberFirst Defenders courses are aimed at 14-15 year-olds are a mix of residential and non-residential run over five days and provide a valuable introduction to all the tools, knowledge and skills needed to build and protect small networks and personal devices.
  • Aimed at 15-16 year-olds, and running over five days, the CyberFirst Futures courses introduce the more fundamental challenges faced by organisations such as motivations for attack, protecting yourself from attack, understanding networks, protecting a network from attack, understanding how to make online resources available and secure.
  • Students aged 16-17 years and about to enter their final A Level year can attend the CyberFirst Advanced courses to learn about digital forensics, understanding encryption technologies, using open source intelligence techniques and penetration testing.
  • School leavers can dive straight into the world of work, getting a full degree in the process by undertaking a level 6 degree apprenticeship, learning about everything from code to emerging technologies.
  • The CyberFirst Bursary scheme attracts highly motivated and very talented undergraduates who want to graduate into full time cyber security careers.

The CyberFirst Schools Programme

The CyberFirst Schools (CFS) has encouraged collaboration between local schools, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), national and local companies and organisations who share the aim of encouraging young people to engage with computer science and the application of cyber security in every day technology.

For Schools and Colleges

The NCSC aims to recognise those schools and colleges whose approach to cyber and cyber security education is excellent. Schools and collegs that achieve this recognition can expect to be:

  • formally recognised and promoted by the National cyber Security Centre
  • provided with opportunities to engage with local and national companies seeking to invest time, expertise and resources in schools and colleges
  • provided with opportunities to engage with Universities seeking to invest time, expertise and resources in local schools and colleges
  • a focal point for other CyberFirst activities
  • provided with an opportunity to be a part of CISSE UK

The National Cyber Security Centre will present one of 3 certificates which reflect the current stage of the school's or college's cyber security teaching, strategic ambition and development plans:

  • GOLD - delivering Excellence in cyber security education
  • SILVER - delivering Good Standards of cyber security education
  • BRONZE - Aspiring to provide excellence in cyber security education

Any secondary school or college within Wales is eligible to apply for CyberFirst School/College recognition under the current call.

Completed applications are to be emailed to [email protected]

The closing date for the latest call for applications is 11th December 2020.

Application forms can be found HERE

For Businesses

Organisations, from both industry and government sectors, can get involved in a number of ways.

Help with the Programme itself:

  • Providing 8-week Summer and/or Year In Industry placements for our CyberFirst Bursary students – all fully funded by the NCSC
  • Offering fulltime roles for CyberFirst Bursary students upon graduation
  • Speaking at a CyberFirst course(s)
  • Running your own CyberFirst course
  • Providing sponsorship for CyberFirst courses and events
  • Developing cyber security content / challenges for schools

Help with activities in the Schools of your choice:

  • providing Inspirational cyber and technology events for students in school
  • providing cyber and technology career events for school and college students
  • providing school students with mentoring opportunities
  • After school computing, technology and cyber club support
  • Student technology and cyber work placements
  • Delivering multi-school cyber security events and activities
  • Helping to develop and deliver cyber security teaching content

If this is something that is of interest to your organisation please contact NCSC enquiries so we may arrange a call or briefing for you.

Individuals can get involved by downloading and passing on the brochure found on this page. Further information can also be found HERE

CyberFirst Ambassadors in Wales

Clare Johnson

Partnerships and Outreach Manager (Digital and STEM) University of South Wales

Leanne Davies

Cyber Security Lecturer Glyndwr University

Chaminda Hewage

Reader in Data Security Cardiff Metropolitan University

Holly-Marie Lidbury

Thales NDEC Education Lead University of South Wales

Jason Davies

NCSC i100 Secondee Cyber Wales Group CIC

Fiona Carroll

Senior Lecturer, School of Technologies Cardiff Metropolitan University

John Davies

NCSC i100 Secondee Cyber Wales Group CIC

Gareth Hill

Managing Director Reliance Hill Ltd

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