Support for secondary schools in England rated 3 (requires improvement) or 4 (inadequate)

Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s mapping agency is funding a scheme to assist secondary schools in England who presently have an Ofsted rating of 3 or 4. The scheme aims to ensure that these schools are able to deliver excellence in teaching with Ordnance Survey maps by providing free access to Digimap for Schools for up to 2 years. The scheme started on 1/02/2019.

Why are we doing this?

Comparatively few schools with an Ofsted rating of 3 or 4 are presently subscribers to Digimap for Schools and Ordnance Survey research has highlighted that these schools face additional budgeting challenges which means that they are not able to prioritise paying for a licence to access Digimap for Schools. This initative is aimed at addressing this shortfall by removing the need for payment. Ordnance Survey have prepaid for all English Ofsted 3 or 4 eligible schools to have free access to the service. This scheme will provide free access for schools that presently have this rating. Eligible schools will benefit from free use of Digimap for Schools together with priority opportunities for teacher training. Participating schools are required to ensure that their students are informed about the availability of Digimap for Schools and provided with direct password access to it.

To enable your free access go here.

Ofsted FAQ


Q. Which schools are eligible?

A. This Scheme is open to all schools in England, who have students in any of the following year groups 11 (GCSE), 12 (AS level) and 13 (A level), and who also appear on the Ofsted published list of schools with an Ofsted 3 or 4 rating.


Q. When can we apply?

A. You can apply at any time. Schools that are already subscribed to Digimap for Schools who become eligible will automatically be given one free year from the end of their present subscription, provided they still have the Ofsted 3 or 4 rating at that time.


Q What happens at the end of the free period?

If your school still has an Ofsted rating of 3 or 4 you will automatically be offered a further free year. If your school has improved you will need to pay for a subscription to continue to access the service.


Q. Who can use the service?

A. Access is free for ALL teachers and students at your school for teaching and learning. Digimap for Schools replaces the need for schools to provide students with Ordnance Survey paper maps by providing a complete online library of Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain. Please provide immediate access to the school username and password so everyone can find the maps they need without having to ask a specific teacher. (Posters will be supplied in your welcome pack.) All outputs from the service, whether paper or digital are protected by watermarking and / or the copyright acknowledgements. You may access the service remotely, print and save unlimited maps.


Q. School policy is to control student access to educational software?

A. Our experience shows that schools who restrict access to Digimap for Schools get much less benefit for their students. EDINA remotely monitor use of the service and contact you if little or no use is being made of the service in your school, which would indicate that the log-in details are not adequately publicised. We reserve the right to withdraw free access to Digimap for Schools if a school is not making any use of it.


Q. Is there any training for teachers?

A. Yes. Training is free and is usually delivered as a twilight session in a local host school. A short training event will increase your confidence of working with digital mapping and we will let you know about availability in your area. If you want to be a host venue email Darren.Bailey@os.uk to volunteer your school. In the meantime there are many ‘step by step’ teaching resources and videos available.


Q. My secondary school cannot afford a Digimap for Schools licence, but has a good Ofsted rating. Why can’t I have free use too?

A. Secondary with a 3 or 4 rating face additional challenges and must prioritise their spending to address specific issues highlighted by Ofsted. We have only limited funds to give free support and have chosen to focus on this defined group of underperforming schools.


Q. My school is in Scotland or Wales, are we eligible?

A. This scheme is only open to schools in England who are teaching the new GCSE’s and A levels.


Q. We have secondary age pupils and are on that list are we eligible?

A. In order to be eligible your school must be providing full-time education for students who are preparing to take examinations in Years 11, 12 and 13. If you only have lower year groups your school is not eligible.


Q. Why is this scheme only open to secondary schools?

A. The primary aim is to ensure that students attending schools with an Ofsted 3 or 4 rating can access Digimap for Schools to support their GCSE and AS/ A level studies.


Q. We are a special school, are we eligible?

A. Yes, if you meet the criteria AND are preparing students to take GSCE and/or AS/A levels.


Q. Where can I read about the terms and conditions of Digimap for Schools?

A. This scheme is supported by Ordnance Survey. The full terms and conditions of Digimap for Schools may be read at digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/termsofuse

Contact Us if you have any questions.