Tech firms support computing in schools

The education secretary Nicky Morgan has announced that technology giants such as Google and 02 are to support a £3.6m drive to teach computing in primary schools in England.

“A significant number of jobs will be in the tech industry,” she told the BETT educational technology show, where she revealed a series of projects involving schools, universities and businesses to support the computing curriculum.

She welcomed the support of ‘top industry experts’, saying: “We are committed to supporting tech companies to connect with our schools – preparing young people to succeed in the global race.

“Increasing the focus on subjects like computing is a key part of our plan for education – which is why we are investing in the latest training and support so our teachers are fully prepared to plan, teach and assess the new computing curriculum.”

The coding curriculum, which was introduced in September teaches skills such as writing code and how to create digital programs. This replaced Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the hope it would help the skills gap between the number of technology jobs and the people qualified to fill them.

Experts from the technology firms will help with training and provide resources to teach digital skills in the classroom.

The projects announced will include a project between Google, Queen Mary University and Hertford College which will work to produce training materials for teachers to develop “computer-related thinking skills.”

O2 Telefonica is to support a peer-to-peer training scheme to help teachers with the computing curriculum.

Oxford Brookes University is to develop an online training course for primary school teachers.

Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Preston will work with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to support other schools with computer lessons.

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