Ian Livingstone OBE, co-chair of the cross-industry Next Gen Skills Campaign today welcomed the publication of the Royal Society’s 18 month study Shut down or Restart? The way forward for Computing in UK schools:


“The Royal Society report is a major policy contribution to how we re-start computer science and information technology teaching in the classroom and complements the findings and recommendations of Next Gen.


“The report identifies the key obstacles to implementing a world-beating computer science curriculum and signals the steps industry, associations and government need to take together to solve this. The ambition to ensure all children are digitally literate is the right and only option for the digital world.


“The Government has to invest in training of new teachers, and continuing professional development for current ICT teachers who will now want to teach computer science. It is imperative that senior management in schools encourages this.


“The current ICT syllabus is out of date, too variable in quality and does not teach children relevant skills for a career in the digital industries. While the Government’s proposed move away from a strictly defined curriculum has advantages, a truly rigorous computer science foundation should be built on accepted, core principles. We need to ensure that learning, while flexible, is also intellectually consistent so progress and achievement can be measured. Therefore the curriculum has to be rigorous and robust but let’s not forget that it also has to be relevant, fun and exciting to inspire young people.”