The UK’s first National Centre for Computing Education has been set up by a consortium made up of STEM Learning, the British Computing Society and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, backed by an £84million government investment.
The Centre will work with the University of Cambridge, while Google will also support the project with a further £1million.
It will start working with schools across England later this year, improving teaching and driving up participation in computer science at GCSE and A-Level.
The Centre will operate virtually through a national network of up to 40 school-led computing hubs to provide training and resources to primary and secondary schools, and an intensive training programme for secondary teachers without a post A-Level qualification in computer science.
Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said: “As our digital industry makes an increasingly significant contribution to our economy, it is important that our computer science teachers are trained to teach the latest digital skills, ensuring young people benefit from a high quality computing education.
“The new computer science GCSE has more challenging content such as computer programming and coding. This new National Centre for Computing Education, led by some of the UK’s leading tech experts, will give teachers the subject knowledge and support they need to teach pupils the new computing curriculum. This is part of this Government’s drive to raise academic standards so that pupils have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in our outward looking and dynamic economy.”
Paul Fletcher, Chief Executive, British Computer Society said: “It is vital that every child in every school has access to world-leading computing education, and this means that every computing teacher has access to the support that they need. The subject of Computing was only introduced four years ago and is still new for schools and that’s why it’s important to build on the energy and enthusiasm of the many teachers who are already committed to the success of this subject. We are delighted to form part of the consortium and to continue to work with the community of Computing teachers.”
Yvonne Baker, Chief Executive, STEM Learning said: “High quality, knowledgeable teaching of computer science is the cornerstone of achieving our aims. Evidence tells us this is fundamental to raising attainment and driving up participation, particularly for girls. We warmly welcome this investment which will be instrumental in preparing young people for the increasingly technological world they will grow up in, and strengthening the UK economy.”
Philip Colligan, Chief Executive, Raspberry Pi said: “This level of investment is unprecedented anywhere in the world for teacher training in the field of computing and computer science. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way that computing and computer science is taught.”