Funding boost aims to supply 16,000 schools across the UK with subject experitse

Govt pledges £2m to computer science teacher training

The Department for Education has pledged more than £2 million to help train thousands of teachers in computer science.

The initiative comes as schools in the UK prepare to implement the subject into the curriculum, and will allow the BCS, the chartered institute for IT , to recruit 400 master teachers in computer science over the next two years.

The scheme has been designed so that each master teacher can then pass on their skills and subject knowledge to 40 schools each, helping 16,000 primary and secondary schools across the country to teach the new computing curriculum and computer science at GCSE level with fully-trained teachers.

To be included as a science option for the English Baccalaureate from January 2014, the draft curriculum for computing in schools currently focuses on teaching the core principles of computer science and practical programming, such as algorithms, coding and hardware.

The £2million investment has been backed by the likes of the BCS, Facebook and Microsoft, who all agreed that teaching computer science in schools was key for the future of the UK tech sector.

“We need our children to learn the foundations of computational thinking at school so that they have the knowledge and skills they need to build successful careers here in the UK,” said Microsoft director of education Steve Beswick.

“This belief is integral to our Get On programme which aims to help 300,000 young people get inspired, get skilled and get a job. We will continue to work with DfE and teachers to help schools deliver the new computing curriculum.”

Next Gen Skills chair Ian Livingstone added: “I’m delighted that £2 million of funding is being provided by government to enable the BCS to recruit 400 master teachers to form a network of teaching excellence in computer science to deliver the new curriculum.

"This is a very important step to fast forward the teaching of essential skills for the digital world in which today’s children live, to enable them to create technology rather than being simply passive users of it. Digital manufacturing and services are becoming main drivers of the UK economy.”

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