1. Overview

Our national mission for education in Wales is to provide children and young people with the skills, knowledge, experiences and resilience, with digital competence an integral element, to enable them to thrive in a constantly changing world.

The Digital Professional Learning Journey (DPLJ) has been created as a model to support schools in developing and implementing their vision for digital learning, developing staff professional learning and support the effective implementation of the Digital Competence Framework with a view to developing learners’ digital competence and to support them to become:

  • ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
  • enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
  • ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
  • healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society

Welsh Government, Regional Consortia and Local Authorities have key roles in supporting schools in the development of digital learning and the DPLJ outlines the involvement of these key partners in helping schools along their development journey.

In July 2018, Estyn undertook a review of schools’ implementation of the Digital Competence Framework which outlined the following recommendations for schools.

Schools should:

  • involve all stakeholders in developing a clear vision for the Digital Competence Framework
  • appoint a digital lead, secure the full support of senior leaders and monitor developments regularly
  • audit teachers’ professional learning needs and use this information to plan training, support and guidance over a realistic timeframe
  • map the Digital Competence Framework across the curriculum and ensure that there are no gaps in provision and sufficient progression and continuity
  • carry out hardware and network infrastructure audits
  • ensure that staff collaborate with others to share good practice

The DPLJ aims to help schools address these recommendations through a structured model, supporting guidance and exemplar resources.



The DPLJ has been organised into the following strands to assist schools in developing and realising their vision for digital learning.

  • Leadership
  • Professional learning and innovation.
  • Curriculum, provision and pedagogy.
  • Education technology.

The following infographic outlines the high level structure of the DPLJ. It highlights the different components, suggested responsibilities of different school stakeholders and external partners and demonstrates that this should be a supported, collaborative process.

Detailed version

How to get started

The following video provides a useful summary of the purpose of the DPLJ and its implementation.

A school's approach to the DPLJ can be considered a three-stage process. The aspects outlined below are not prescriptive, but provide a high-level summary of the areas that could be considered as part of this process.

Stage 1: Strategic leadership, planning and policy

  • Create a whole school vision for digital learning.
  • Define staffing structures, roles and responsibilities.
  • Work with education technology partners to manage and consider new digital and technology services.
  • Produce relevant plans and policies (aligned with or included within the school’s development plan), including investment profiles to ensure sustainability.

Schools should start with developing their vision for digital learning and consider how this aligns with the school’s overall vision and its planning for Curriculum for Wales. This should include consideration of the leadership of digital learning and how this permeates through strategic plans, staffing and budgeting arrangements, with a view to improving learner experiences and digital competence.

Through the ongoing development of the EdTech programme, Local Authorities play a key role in supporting schools with the development of their strategic direction for digital learning and can provide strategic and technical advice around many aspects of digital learning. Schools are advised to contact their local authority education technology partner to discuss their digital learning requirements.

Stage 2: Implementation

  • Understand the content and requirements of the Digital Competence Framework and the relevant descriptions of learning in Science and Technology and the remainder of the curriculum.
  • Audit staff skills and provide relevant professional learning.
  • Develop pedagogy and practice to embed digital competence across the curriculum, supported by the DCF, and consider the use of technology to enhance learning and teaching.
  • Work with the school’s education technology partner to ensure ongoing cyber security and development of digital resilience across the school.
  • Ensure online safety education for learners and staff. (You may wish to refer to the 'Keeping safe online' guidance and associated 360Safe self-evaluation resource).

Stage 3: Review and improvement

Following these two steps, ongoing review of processes and outcomes could include the following.

  • Implement processes for ensuring learner progression.
  • Evaluate and review practice.
  • Share practice.
  • Feedback findings into the next planning cycle.

This final stage includes the final implementation of the DPLJ and its impact upon learner experiences and development of learner digital competence, leading to effective learner progression in both digital competence and skills within areas of learning and experience.

Ongoing review and improvement of digital learning should form part of the school’s wider self-evaluation and school improvement arrangements. Schools may wish to refer to the National Resource: Evaluation and Improvement for further guidance on self-evaluation and improvement. Schools may also wish to consider an enquiry-based approach. Further guidance on enquiry approaches and examples of school-based enquiries around digital developments, blended learning and other aspects can be found on the National Professional Enquiry Project (NPEP) pages and playlists on Hwb.

The DPLJ integrates with the national pedagogy project and schools as learning organisations and mirrors the structure of the professional learning journey. Schools are recommended to consider this resource and guidance in conjunction with these models and projects. The curriculum, provision and pedagogy strand of the DPLJ integrates fully with the Digital Competence Framework. It is recommended that schools also refer to the guidance on Designing your curriculum, together with the Digital Competence Framework when considering planning and implementing the DPLJ and the Digital Competence Framework.

The document below provides a more detailed mapping of the DPLJ to the schools as learning organisations model.

For further information please refer to the detail in the component sections of the DPLJ.

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    Key roles and responsibilities