The Welsh Government will expand e-sgol, the programme which enables GCSE and A-level students to join classes at other schools via video link, to every part of Wales from September 2023.
E-sgol was launched in Ceredigion in 2018, with the aim of expanding opportunities for post-14 and post-16 learners to study courses that would not otherwise be available to them and increase the number of learners studying subjects which normally attract lower numbers of students.
The programme was created to increase the number of GCSE and A/AS-level options available for pupils, especially for those at smaller, rural schools, widening access to a greater range of subjects.
E-sgol also aims to broaden the subjects available to study through the medium of Welsh.
This year, 28 subjects have been taught, to over 350 pupils, through e-sgol. Lessons are available in a wide range of subjects, including Criminology, Politics and Psychology.
To support the expansion, the Welsh Government has increased funding for e-sgol to £600,000 this financial year, from £350,000 last year.
In January 2021, e-sgol introduced Cyrsiau Carlam, after-school revision sessions to support pupils across Wales following the disruption caused by COVID-19. E-sgol has also been used to create a partnership between a secondary school and a pupil referral unit, to offer a wider range of subjects to learners at the unit.
The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, will address the annual E-sgol Conference later today.
Jeremy Miles said:
E-sgol is an excellent example of how we can harness digital technology to improve education. By broadening the study options for learners at GCSE and A-level, e-sgol gives learners the opportunity of studying exciting subjects which would not have been available at many schools in the past.
Having started as a pilot project in only three schools in 2018, the programme is a great example of how a successful pilot project can be developed to benefit all learners in Wales. E-sgol benefits pupils in rural areas in particular and learners in Welsh-medium education.
I am delighted to increase funding for e-sgol to £600,0000 to expand the scheme and provide a greater choice of subjects for leaners across Wales from next September.