Primary Goal’s Digital Champion Apprentice Nicola Swady swept the board at the inaugural The News and Observer Series Apprenticeship Awards last night, sponsored by the Royal Navy. 

Nicola, known as Nicci, received Technology and Digital Apprentice of the Year, presented by The News Publishing Editor, Mark Waldron, as well as the award for Health and Public Services Apprentice of the Year for her contribution within Schools, presented by CDR Sara Balls. 


The awards are thoroughly deserved. Whilst studying on the Digital Champion Apprenticeship, Nicci has had an incredible impact on her school and pupils. Her achievements include; securing funding through Connect the Classroom, saving the school money by “shifting to the cloud”, providing cross school/staff support with devices, and opening up STEM LEGO opportunities. 

Nicci is a part of the 2022-2023 wave of Portsmouth Digital Champions, who are supporting the development of the Portsmouth: The Digital City project. These apprentices, working in education, have become the experts across the city to drive forward digital change and support best practice by completing a Digital Champion apprenticeship over 15 months. Their efforts have truly embedded pedagogical digital practice and are having an extremely positive knock-on effect. 

Nicci has developed a great level of digital expertise, passion, and enthusiasm, which has been pivotal towards achieving the aims of the city-wide vision to become the first digital city, improving outcomes and opportunities for all. 

Individually, all Digital Champion Apprentices are coached to develop digital strategies within their school at all levels, to enable equitable access for technology for all, so that every child and adult can choose the right tool for the right activity for them in that moment of time.   

Nicci has gone above and beyond in her role as a Digital Champion. Already this autumn term she has used her new digital skills to support over 30 different staff and schools with bespoke training to help improve outcomes. Her innovative approach and passion have also led to other training for schools and the creation of a cluster Lego league for primary schools in her area – some of which are in the top 6% most deprived schools in the UK. 

Gemma Gwilliam leads Portsmouth: The Digital City said; “By having Nicci as one of the 40+ Digital Champions in Portsmouth, Portsmouth: The Digital City project is so much stronger. And by working together with the other Digital Champions across the city, she’s helping to future proof the city’s digital needs for now and beyond.”

Primary Goal CEO Louise Salmon added; “I’m truly driven to achieve more for the education sector with every award recognition for all of our Digital Champions. The training they receive from our dedicated team is truly remarkable and far reaching. Nicci is a beacon of this impact, and I’m delighted for her. My huge thanks go to our levy share partners who make this impact possible across the education sector and beyond.”  

What is our Digital Champion Programme? 

Primary Goal’s Flagship Digital Champion programme is one of several digital training programmes delivered by our in-house subject matter experts, who are industry leading EdTech specialists, providing innovative solutions for digital transformation.   

The world of education technology is changing fast. As our educational establishments move to the cloud, the staff working within them need increasing levels of support. 

This exclusive 15-month programme has been put together to support educational establishments with developing the expertise of their Digital Champion.

Through carefully selected modules, Digital Champions will be able to understand and plan for the role of technology within their own schools to: 

  • Enhance teaching and learning
  • Reduce workload
  • Support accessibility and inclusion
  • Narrow the digital divide
  • Support learners on future digital careers so that they can improve outcomes for students and all members of the community.

Nicci Swady is an Apprentice on Primary Goals Level 3 Digital Champion Programme. The Digital Champion Apprenticeship is fully funded through the Apprenticeship Levy and our wonderful corporate Levy Share partners. 

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