Get funding and support to set up a digital education platform


About the programme

Government-funded support is available for schools to get set up on one of two free-to-use digital education platforms. You can choose to use either:

  • G Suite for Education (Google Classroom)
  • Office 365 Education (Microsoft Teams)

The Key for School Leaders website provides feature comparison and case studies on how schools are making the most of these platforms, to help you make the most appropriate choice for your school.

You have until the end of March 2021 to register with this programme and claim your grant.

What is a digital education platform?

It's a place where teachers and pupils can continue learning through online virtual classrooms.

The platforms are purpose-built for remote learning in a way that a school website is not.

Teachers can:

  • communicate with pupils and deliver lessons via video calls
  • record virtual lessons
  • set tasks
  • let pupils work together through supervised group calls
  • give personalised feedback via video or within shared documents
  • continue with formal assessment for learning
  • set up separate classrooms for smaller groups of students
  • develop structured file and folder storage for different users
  • use tools to support staff planning

Using a digital education platform will allow teachers and pupils to continue education if a school closes.

The Key for School Leaders website has information on why you should make the move to a digital education platform, if you have not already.

Who can apply

The funded support is for schools that:

  • do not have a digital education platform
  • have access to Office 365 Education or G Suite for Education, but are not yet set up to assign work and communicate with pupils

Support is available to state funded:

  • primary schools
  • secondary schools
  • special schools
  • pupil referral units

Virtual schools are also eligible for the programme. This is especially true for virtual schools that:

  • regularly coordinate and deliver elements of educational provision and curricular content
  • engage with looked-after children

How to apply

You can choose to apply for support from either a Google or Microsoft partner.

To apply, complete the support request form for your chosen partner below:

Trusts and sponsors can apply on behalf of their schools.

What happens after you apply

A member from either Google or Microsoft will receive your request. They’ll confirm if you’re eligible for the programme and, if so, they’ll assign you to an IT supplier.

Your IT supplier will contact you within 2 days to agree a day and time to start the process of setting up the platform for your school.

It will take only a few days to install your platform if you respond quickly to the IT supplier’s requests to agree to the scope of work, and share user data and any other relevant information.

How to claim your grant funding

After you complete your support request form, you'll receive an email from the DfE Digital Infrastructure Payments team with details on how to claim your grant.

Once your platform is set up, you can claim the following grant funding:

Type of school Grant funding available
Individual primary school £1,500
Individual secondary school £2,000
Multi-academy trust £1,000 per school
Virtual school £1,500

Will platforms continue to be free to use?

Once you have access to a platform, you and your pupils can use it for free.

How to get support

You can find more information about the programme and how schools are using digital platforms on The Key for School Leaders website.

Free training and support to set up and use technology effectively is available through the EdTech Demonstrator Programme.

If you have a question about this programme, please email We aim to respond within 3 working days.