'Master' computing teachers recruited to train others

child on laptop The aim is to give pupils the right skills for the jobs of the future

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A network of 400 "master" computer science teachers is being recruited to deliver a new computer science curriculum in schools across England.

These specialist teachers will train teachers in other schools and provide resources for teachers to use in class.

Funded by government, the scheme is run by the British Computer Society.

The new computer science curriculum, which replaces the current information and communications technology (ICT) curriculum, starts this September.

Opening the Bett learning technology show in London, Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "This new curriculum will be... much shorter and less prescriptive than the old ICT curriculum and it will allow schools to innovate and be much, much more ambitious.

"ICT used to focus purely and narrowly on computer literacy, teaching pupils over and over again how to word-process, how to work a spreadsheet, how to use programs which are already - were already, I should say - creaking into obsolescence.

"Now our new curriculum teaches children computer science, information technology and digital literacy. It will teach them how to code, how to create their own programs, not just how to work the computer but how a computer works, how to make it work for you."

From as young as five, pupils in England would learn to code and program, he said, and from age 11, children would be taught at least two programming languages.

He went on: "These are precisely the sorts of skills which jobs of the future, and for that matter the jobs of the present, demand and from now on these changes will ensure that every child gets a solid grounding in these essential skills."

Computer science GCSEs will also count as a science in the English Baccalaureate for secondary school league tables, alongside physics, chemistry, biology and pupils taking double science.

It will be included as one of the science options that count towards this measure.

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) requires pupils to get good GCSE grades in English, maths, sciences, history or geography and a language.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 298.

    Sounds good but too little far far too late. Coding will always be outsourced because we can't compete on price compared to India, China etc. The skills we need are innovative systems design and project management to deliver a system to spec on time within budget. Ever thus.

  • rate this

    Comment number 293.

    Teaching 'programming' to children will indirectly give them the transferable skills they seem to be lacking at present. Programming involves so much more than simply typing code. Interacting with others to gauge requirements, sharing knowledge with peers and being able to dissect a process into component parts is only some of the knock on effects.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    No-one would expect experts to teach enough French, German or Spanish so that primary school kids can write a whole paragraph (ie multiple sentences) about their weekend .. but that's what's expected in the new computing curriculum. Those schools fortunate enough to have already converted to academies can follow a more realistic curriculum. Perhaps these experts should teach Gove programming!

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    Not entirely sure you can teach someone the flair for programming anymore than you can teach someone with a tourist speaking level of french how to be a french teacher. (there is a gulf from "word" to proper programming)

    There is the risk that unless its in the book the teacher will be lost & many pupils will be able to run rings around them

    If they dont have the ability how can they pass it on?

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    Well, it sounds good.

    I've often thought that teaching young people how to use computers (e.g. Operating systems and applications) is only useful to a certain point.

    Teaching them how they can be used, how to code, how to publish what you do, really useful.

    Like it or not, if we are not computer literate then we are at a disadvantage.


Comments 5 of 7


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