Training stalls coding in schools


New research has revealed significant inconsistencies in investment in teacher training, leaving some teachers unprepared, unsupported and unable to teach the new coding curriculum.

One in three schools (34%) admitted to spending £0.00 on teacher training for coding in the past year. In contrast, nearly one in four schools (22%) have spent over £3,000. 11% of schools spent between £100 and £500, and 33% spent between £500 and £1,000.

The number of teachers trained also ranges from 0 up to 6 depending the school. 1 in ten schools trained no teachers at all, 34% trained 1-2 teachers, 51% 3-4 teachers and 11% trained 5-6 teachers.

The new figures point to a massive gap between the ‘haves and the have nots’ when it comes to access to much-needed technology skills.

Software development is one of the top five most in-demand jobs globally. However the number of students aiming for careers in the industry has fallen, leaving a vast chasm between supply and demand. To address this, the Government launched in ‘Year of Code’ in 2014 aimed at teaching Year 1 how to code and by Key Stage 3 pupils were expected to be proficient in more than two programme languages.

Concerns came to light when teachers said they were not ready for the new computing curriculum in 2014 with 54% believing students know more than them about ICT(1). With these new figures revealing such a huge range in funding from school to school, many children are being left behind without trained teachers, while others are benefiting.

Paul Tarantino, Director at MapR Technologies, which published the findings, said: “Last year the Government pledged £3.5 million on new curriculum training. But this information shows that it’s simply not being filtered down so that every young person has a trained teacher. It’s shocking to see such a huge discrepancy in what was said in the run up to the election compared to what these promises have translated to on the ground.

“While the Year of Code sounded great in theory, it has clearly been flawed in practice. We need a consistent approach to teacher training across the board and more schools to take advantage of free training programmes offered by private businesses, if we want the UK to compete on a global stage. If we don’t invest in technology skills today, the UK is at serious risk of falling behind.”

Digital Learning