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Disadvantaged pupils to get computer coding lessons

01/09/2016 Joanna

Two new schemes have been introduced which are intended to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn more about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Within the Imperial Sutton Scholars scheme, pupils from schools in Greater London aged between 11 and 14 will be taught about coding, programming and the application of these skills in the sciences. This will take place on activity days at Imperial College London.

The other scheme, Pathways to Coding, will teach coding and programming skills to pupils aged 16 to 18, as well as offer them e-mentoring, talks and campus coding days.

In total, the two schemes will work with 220 secondary school pupils, and will also offer them advice on how they can access jobs in the technology sector. 

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, which is running the schemes, said the digital sector is primed to offer financially rewarding careers to many young people. 

"But we need to make sure that these opportunities are available to all young people, not just those from better-off backgrounds," he added.

Currently, students considered to be disadvantaged are hugely underrepresented on STEM degree courses, which is where the largest technology companies look to recruit graduates. However, with the UK boasting around 1.5 million jobs in the digital sector, 400,000 of which involve coding, there are huge opportunities for teenagers looking to enter the industry.

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