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Exclusive: UK faces severe shortfall of computer science teachers

30 Jan 2013
Students and teacher working with computer

The ITTE made a number of recommendations in its most recent newsletter on how to improve the state of computer science teacher training.

Not only does the government need to make course allocation decisions much earlier this year, but bursaries for Computer Science SKE and PGCE ICT courses should be made equal to other STEM subjects in order to avoid losing potential computer science graduates to maths or science, said the ITTE.

The DfE would not comment on the reported lack of computer science training courses on offer in the UK.

However, this lack of computer science teachers is only likely to add to the growing uncertainty facing ICT students in schools.

Currently the government is reforming the ICT curriculum, which was removed from schools in September last year, but has yet to launch a consultation on the contents of the new course.

MAKE IT BETTER logoV3 has launched a Make IT Better campaign, which is calling on the DfE to give the ICT curriculum reform process transparency and to include the views of more teachers, education advisers and IT professionals from the start.

V3 is also calling on the government to give the subject "EBacc status" at GCSE level. The new English Baccalaureate Certificates system has been hyped as the modern day O-levels, and will replace GCSEs in core subjects, first English and maths and then sciences and modern foreign languages.

The first EBaccs will be sat in 2017 and are expected to be more challenging and a better assessment of pupils' abilities than GCSEs.

At the moment it appears that the subject of computer science, along with the likes of music, drama and religious education, will still continue as a GCSE, a system that has been heavily criticised by the government.

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Rosalie Marshall
About

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site LocalGov.tv. Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.


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