Digital Competence Framework and Learning in Digital Wales

The Digital Competence Framework (DCF) is the first element of the new curriculum for Wales to be made available. Digital competence is the set of skills, knowledge and attitudes that enable the confident, creative and critical use of technologies and systems. It is essential for learners if they are to be informed, capable and have the potential to be successful in today’s society.

Digital competence should not be confused with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) or Computer Science. Digital competence is one of three cross-curricular responsibilities, alongside literacy and numeracy. It focuses on developing digital skills which can be applied to a wide range of subjects and scenarios that are transferrable to the world of work.

Further guidance, downloads and FAQs are also available on Learning Wales.

GwE’s support for the DCF

Strategic Digital Lead for GwE: Simon Billington –

School improvement advisors with digital portfolio responsibilities:

Across North Wales there are now 4 Digital Leaders seconded to work through GwE and provide support for the DCF, HWB and the Cracking the Code project:

Digital leaders offer professional advice, guidance, training and support in the following key areas:

  • Providing support and training on the new Digital Competence Framework (DCF)
  • Identifying best practice in Digital Competence and developing networks of lead schools and practitioners
  • Planning for DCF and the use of Digital Technologies across the curriculum
  • ICT Self Evaluation
  • The use of Hwb, Hwb online Tools and Office 365
  • Digital Citizenship and Online Safety
  • Developing coding activities in school
  • Pre and post Inspection support – in conjunction with GwE School Improvement Advisors


Under the NIA framework, Estyn will continue to inspect ICT across the curriculum, until the Digital Competence Framework is to be implemented. They will continue to report on pupil standards in using ICT across the curriculum on every inspection. Each inspection report will include a paragraph on pupils’ standards in applying ICT across the curriculum in 1.0 Standards as well as recording evidence in 1.3 Standards and progress in skills.

Estyn has recently provided supplementary guidance on the inspection of ICT in schools, which can be found on the main Estyn web site.


By September 2018, settings and schools will be expected to have made good progress in using the Digital Competence Framework.

By September 2018, schools will:

  • Have a clear vision for DCF in the classroom
  • Have established staff responsibilities for DCF
  • On an ongoing basis review:

    – Hardware, Infrastructure and Software

    – Staff professional learning needs

  • Be identifying opportunities to develop a learner’s digital competence across year groups and departments
  • Have planned for and be creating opportunities for staff professional development in DC

A combination of leadership activities and teaching and learning development will be required, which typically would include:

  • Leadership Team and key staff interpreting DCF expectations
  • Audit of staff capabilities to identify support requirements
  • ICT Self Evaluation
  • Appointment of DCF lead within the school
  • Audit of current curriculum plans to determine appropriate context for DCF elements
  • Identification of areas for further curriculum development
  • Identify possible school to school activities that would support implementation of the DCF
  • Audit of resource needs
  • Plan for ongoing spending to support identified resources and training
  • Consider using the SAMR or TPACK models to help design and plan your curriculum tasks



  • Begin to integrate DCF across the curriculum
  • Accessing consortia support and training for DCF

These activities should form part of ongoing school improvement planning.

For further guidance, please contact:

Simon Billington –


Digital Competence support from GwE:

Twitter: @GwEDigidol

Training and Events:


HWB Network – GwE – Supporting Digital Competence: