Computer science teaching set for boost
Organisations are being invited to run the first ever National Centre of Computing Science Education.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb announced that the national centre, along with 40 leading schools across the country, will help improve teaching of the computing curriculum.
It is supported by a new programme which will train up to 8,000 computing teachers on the latest digital skills – enough to ensure every secondary school in England has a teacher who can support pupils to succeed.
The digital sectors contributed £118 billion to the economy in 2015 and an estimated 1.2 million more people with specialist digital skills are needed by 2022.
Thousands of pupils are currently preparing to sit reformed GCSEs in 20 subjects this year, including computer science. It follows last year’s successful introduction of reformed maths and English GCSEs, with 59.1 per cent of pupils achieving a grade 4 or above in these subjects.
“The fast-paced world of technology is constantly evolving and it is important that our computer science teachers are trained in the very latest digital skills,” School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said.
“This programme will give teachers the subject knowledge and support they need to guide their pupils through the new computing curriculum.
“The knowledge pupils will gain in this subject at GCSE and A level will help employers to be able to recruit the skilled workforce they need, helping to build a Britain that is fit for the future.
“On Monday 14 May, pupils will start sitting the new computer science GCSE for the first time after working towards it since 2016.
“This qualification has replaced the ICT GCSE and now includes more challenging content, such as coding and computer programming.
“This is to ensure that pupils that take this GCSE are better prepared for further education, higher education and beyond.”
In the Autumn Budget £84 million was committed to upskill computer science teachers. The government says the National Centre of Computing Education will be a major part of this commitment, providing resources at primary and secondary level.
Linked to this centre will be a national network of 40 school-led Computing Hubs where teachers will be able to access specialist training which will benefit pupils.
Work on the National Centre is expected to start during autumn 2018, with the first training available in the 2018/19 academic year.