Facebook, Microsoft and BCS back computer science teaching

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Education Minister Elizabeth Truss has announced more than £2 million of funding so the best computing teachers can help train thousands more to teach the rigorous new curriculum.

The funding will allow BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, to recruit 400 master teachers in computer science over the next 2 years, by building on its existing network of excellence in teaching computer science (NoE).

Each master teacher will pass on their skills and subject knowledge to 40 schools - so that computing teachers in 16,000 primary and secondary schools will be in position to deliver the computer science element of the new computing curriculum and the new computer science GCSE. This continuous professional development programme will enhance the preparations that schools will already be making so they can deliver the new curriculum.

Computing (previously ICT) will remain a statutory subject for all pupils in primary and secondary school. The draft curriculum has a strong emphasis on the principles of computer science and practical programming, including algorithms, coding and hardware. Computer science will be included as a science option for the English Baccalaureate from January 2014.

Elizabeth Truss said: "Computer science is a rigorous, fascinating and intellectually challenging subject. The new computing curriculum will mean pupils have a real understanding of how digital technologies work - allowing them to create new technologies rather than being passive consumers of them.

"This brings exciting challenges for computing teachers - we are raising our expectations of the subject knowledge they should have, including how computers work, programming and coding.

"We want a generation of children being taught how to write computer animations or design apps for smartphones - not be bored by lessons in how to fill in spreadsheets or learn word processing. These master teachers will spread good practice, knowledge and expertise throughout schools.”
 
The Department for Education has already announced that it is offering scholarships and bursaries to recruit and train talented new teachers and have prepared others through subject knowledge enhancement courses.

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