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Welsh government buys Microsoft Office 365 for teachers and pupils

The Welsh government will provide Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus across 1,521 maintained schools in Wales

The Welsh government has signed a contract to offer Microsoft Office 365 to school kids and teachers for free.

The £1.2m investment will see Welsh Government provide 1,521 maintained schools with access to Office 365 ProPlus, which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

According to research conducted by Microsoft, 44% of teachers  do not believe today’s classrooms are set-up to facilitate modern learning.

Through the deal, up to 467,000 teachers and students will be able to download and install the latest version on up to five personal devices, which they can use at school and at home.

The deal also includes Minecraft: Education Edition, which contains Code Builder. According to Microsoft, this version of the popular block-building game will allow teachers and students to learn coding using Tynker and Microsoft MakeCode and will support the Welsh Government’s Cracking the Code plan to encourage coding in every part of the country.

Kirsty Williams, minister for education, said providing Office 364 would reduce the burden on schools to pay for their own licensing fees and also ensure all schools have the same level of access to the digital tools they need to progress skills in students.

“This is vital as we aim to reduce the attainment gap and increase standards in our schools. Through our curriculum reforms, we want all learners to have relevant high-level digital, literacy and numeracy skills, and access to these applications is an important step towards achieving that,” she said.

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