28 February 2012 – London, United Kingdom  - Next Gen Skills today called on Chancellor George Osborne to support a new teacher training infrastructure in the 2012 Budget. Next Gen Skills, which organised the call, said teachers would need support ahead of possible curriculum changes starting in September 2012 and the introduction of the National Curriculum in September 2014.

 

The government is currently consulting on the removal of the current ICT Programme of Study, clearing the way for new courses potentially more focused on computer science and programming.

 

Ahead of this year’s budget on 21 March, the letter asks the chancellor: “To support the development of a new computer science and information and communications technology teaching infrastructure… so the UK can truly take advantage of the curriculum reforms proposed in January this year by the secretary of state for education.”

 

Backers of the letter include UKIE – representing the UK games industry – NMI, the trade body of the UK semiconductor industry, the British Computer Society and E-Skills.

 

Next Gen Skills, an alliance of IT sector and education groups that campaigns for better computer education in schools, led by video games industry trade body UKIE, said curriculum change had to be adequately funded:

 

Next Gen Skills’ Theo Blackwell said “If the government is to realise its ambition to make computer science in our schools ‘sufficiently rigorous’ it needs to invest more resources on a new generation of teachers and help up-skill existing ones through continuing professional development.”

 

Notes to editors:

  1. Deficits in ICT teacher training are highlighted in January’s Royal Society report (Chapter 7) http://royalsociety.org/Current-ICT-and-Computer-Science-in-schools/
  2. Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove speech 11 January highlights the need for teacher training http://www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/speeches/a00201868/michael-gove-speech-at-the-bett-show-2012