Thirteen teams around the country claimed victory at the finals of the 2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition

Teams of schoolgirls across the UK have been crowned cyber security champions after winning the finals of a nationwide contest.

Thirteen teams claimed the top spot at their respective finals last weekend after successfully seeing off competition from thousands of challengers to win the 2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition, which is run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ.

The competition aims to inspire girls aged 12 and 13 to pursue their interests in technology and pursue a career in cyber security, where women make up just 22% of the workforce.

This year’s contest, which was entered by over 8,700 girls from across the four nations of the UK, saw pupils tackle challenges covering topics from cryptography and logic to artificial intelligence and networking.

The winning teams for the 2023 competition are:

  • Stirling High School (Scotland)
  • St Joseph’s RC High School, Newport (Wales)
  • Glenlola Collegiate School, Bangor (Northern Ireland)
  • St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School, Wigan (North West of England)
  • Durham Johnston Comprehensive, Durham (North East)
  • Sutton Coldfield Grammar School (West Midlands)
  • The West Bridgford School, Nottingham (East Midlands)
  • The Highfield School, Letchworth (East of England)
  • Heckmondwike Grammar School (Yorkshire and Humberside)
  • Ribston Hall High School, Gloucester (South West)
  • Nonsuch High School for Girls, Sutton (South East)
  • The Tiffin Girls School (London)
  • Highgate School, London (Independent Schools)

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said:

“Congratulations to all the teams taking part in this year’s competition – and especially to those who emerged victorious in their respective finals.

“The 2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition has been a great success, and I’d like to pay testament to the teachers who have inspired and supported their students throughout and also thank industry partners for their support in making this all possible.

“It’s heartening to see so many young people engage with cyber security, and I hope that many of you will pursue a career within the industry and protect the UK from future online threats.”

The winners from each regional final have been invited to a grand prize giving dinner and celebration day taking place later this year. Other awards on offer included:

  • Top scoring state newcomer, presented to the highest scoring state school that has entered the competition for the first time
  • Most team entries, presented to the schools (state schools, state selective schools, and independent schools) with the most teams entered with each of those teams having solved at least 10 challenges.
  • Top scoring team, presented to the top scoring team in the qualifier round
  • Top scoring CyberFirst school, presented to the CyberFirst school with the highest collective score from the qualifier round
  • Top scoring returning school, presented to the highest scoring school from the qualifier round that has entered the competition previously