Girls from Ilchester Primary School have been invited to discuss cybersecurity at the Houses of Parliament

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A group of Year 5 girls from Ilchester Primary School in South Somerset are celebrating having been invited to the Houses of Parliament to share their cybersecurity knowledge with MPs and industry representatives.

Somerset County Council’s eLearing and Information Management team (eLIM), who are part of Support Services for Education (SSE), have been working closely with Ilchester Primary School to deliver a TechFuture Girls Computing Club.

TechFuture Girls is an initiative from the Tech Partnership, which aims to encourage more girls to consider careers in the technology sector.

At their Computing Club the girls have been learning about data security, encryption and hacking, and have taken part in online challenges to test their skills and knowledge. After sharing their progress on the social networking website Twitter, the girls were contacted by TechFuture Girls, who invited them to present their cybersecurity knowledge to MPs and industry representatives at the Houses of Parliament.

As part of their visit to London, which is taking place at the end of February the information technology company Hewlett-Packard is treating the girls to a trip on the London Eye, which is an appropriate treat considering the girls’ newfound ‘eye’ for cybersecurity.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said; “I am extremely proud of the girls from Ilchester Primary School for the passion and enthusiasm they have shown towards learning new technology skills, and being invited to share them at the Houses of Parliament.

“It is of great importance to encourage girls to take an interest in Science and Technology from an early age, so they may go on to consider these skills for a future career, and things like TechFuture Girls Computing Club teaches these skills in a fun and exciting way.

“I know from my own experience just how absorbing working in Information Technology can be. Girls should not be held back in careers that have traditionally been male dominated, and I hope we are beginning to address this for young people with projects like these.”

SSE is a traded unit within Somerset County Council that offers a wide variety of support services to all education providers, including schools, academies, Further Education colleges, Early Years providers, and Local Authorities.

For more information about how Support Services for Education can help your education provider, please visit www.supportservicesforeducation.co.uk