Computer Science GCSE returns

Coding and programming are to be included in the school curriculum again as part of the (re)introduction of a computer science GCSE qualification in schools.

The announcement was made yesterday by Prime Minister David Cameron when he also announced the opening of a National College for Digital Skills in London in 2015, training 1,000 students a year. Private sector companies IBM, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Deloitte and Bank of America are among industry advisors to the school.

In addition, he announced a £67 million bursary fund towards university tuition fees to provide specialist training over the next five years to improve the digital skills of 17,500 maths and science teachers (retraining for 15,000 existing teachers and a newly recruited additional 2,500 teachers).

"This is all part of our long-term economic plan for Britain - making sure our children have the skills they need to thrive and get on," said the PM.

The Labour party criticised the government's teacher training policy as already creating teacher shortages; respondents to online reports at the BBC criticised the salaries and career options open to Maths graduates within schools, and the chair of a school board of governors spoken to by SC commented: “Where are we going to get people to teach coding?” while another governor questioned whether schools could compete with more lucrative careers for coders outside of education.  

The BBC reported the Association of School and College Leaders as warning that schools would need overseas recruits to fill vacancies, including maths and science teachers.

The same day Cameron launched The Hour of Code campaign which aims to teach children how to code in 60 minutes.