Progress for lobbyists calling for computer science in schools

Prime Minister backs programming education reform

The campaign to include computer science within the national curriculum has been given a shining endorsement from the Prime Minister.

David Cameron yesterday admitted his Government is “not doing enough to actually teach the next generation of programmers."

Yesterday the Prime Minister toured London’s Tech City – a stretch of technology and digital start-up companies that occupy the East End of the capital. It is said that there are now more than 600 tech businesses within the zone.

Cameron said comments from business leaders across Tech City are a “wake up call for our education system”, and said the Government will heed the advice.

But Michael Gove, the Education secretary, has managed to remain silent on the issue of computer science throughout 2011.

Develop has made repeated requests for comment from the Department for Education on the issue, of which none have been honoured.

Ian Livingstone, the games industry figurehead who kick-started the computer science campaign earlier this year, has repeatedly been refused a chance to meet Gove. Recently he was invited to meet advisors at the department.

The Next Gen skills report, which Livingstone co-authored, makes twenty recommendations to remedy the so-called skills-gap affecting the UK games business.

Top of the agenda is the introduction of Computer Science within the national curriculum.

The Government has promised to make a formal response to the Livingstone Hope Skills Review, though no date is certain.

Trade body UKIE, which has driven the campaign for computer science in schools, said it was “delighted” by the nature of Cameron’s comments.

“This is something UKIE has been calling for some time, and we look forward to the Government response to the Livingstone Hope Skills Review,” said UKIE chairman Andy Payne.

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