UKIE calls for support for new generation of Computer Science teachers

28  February 2012 - London, United Kingdom – The UKIE-led, Next Gen Skills Campaign, today called on Chancellor George Osborne to support a new teacher training infrastructure in the 2012 Budget.  Next Gen Skills, which organised the call, said teachers would need support ahead of possible curriculum changes starting in September 2012 and the introduction of the National Curriculum in September 2014.

The government is currently consulting on the removal of the current ICT Programme of Study, clearing the way for new courses potentially more focused on computer science and programming.

Ahead of this year's budget on 21 March, the letter asks the chancellor: "To support the development of a new computer science and information and communications technology teaching infrastructure... so the UK can truly take advantage of the curriculum reforms proposed in January this year by the secretary of state for education."

Backers of the letter include UKIE - representing the UK games industry - NMI, the trade body of the UK semiconductor industry, the British Computer Society and E-Skills.

Next Gen Skills, an alliance of IT sector and education groups that campaigns for better computer education in schools, led by video games industry trade body UKIE, said curriculum change had to be adequately funded:

Next Gen Skills’ Theo Blackwell said "If the government is to realise its ambition to make computer science in our schools 'sufficiently rigorous' it needs to invest more resources on a new generation of teachers and help up-skill existing ones through continuing professional development."

UKIE CEO Dr. Jo Twist said:  “If we want the UK to produce games programmers and coders of the future, we need a plan to get more skilled Computer Science teachers in our classrooms today.  To make good Michael Gove’s vision for Computer Science by 2014, the Budget should put in place a boost in the numbers of skilled teachers and prepare the way for a new generation of Computer Science teachers to come.”

- ENDS –

Notes to editors:

  1. Deficits in ICT teacher training are highlighted in January’s Royal Society report (Chapter 7) http://royalsociety.org/Current-ICT-and-Computer-Science-in-schools/
  2. Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove speech 11 January highlights the need for teacher training http://www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/speeches/a00201868/michael-gove-speech-at-the-bett-show-2012

Contacts:

For all press enquiries, please contact the UKIE press office on T: +44 (0)20 7534 0582 or E: press@ukie.org.uk.

About UKIE

The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or UKIE is a trade body that represents the whole of the UK’s video games and wider interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 (and formerly known as ELSPA), UKIE’s membership includes games publishers, developers and the academic institutions that support the industry.

UKIE works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, tax incentives and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.

One of UKIE’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.

In addition, UKIE works with GfK Chart-Track to compile weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.

About Next Gen Skills

Next Gen Skills is a cross-industry campaign which aims to improve the teaching of computer science in schools. It is an independent campaign that will speak with one voice for industry and education stakeholders with shared goals.

Next Gen Skills’ vision is for the UK’s education system to equip the next generation with the knowledge needed to grow this country’s digital, creative and hi-tech economy. In particular it is calling for the introduction of an industry relevant Computer Science course within the framework of the National Curriculum.

Visit www.nextgenskills.com for more information. Twitter @NextGenSkills.  


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