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Govt launches software coding training for teachers

05/02/2014 Kelly
A new £500,000 scheme has been launched by the chancellor and the education secretary to provide software coding training for teachers.

The investment is designed to equip teachers with the skills necessary to teach the new computing curriculum, which was drawn up with the aid of the Royal Society of Engineering and companies such as Google and Microsoft.

In an initiative beginning this school year, organisations willing to provide 50 per cent of funding for teacher training projects will be able to bid for match-funded grants. 

Mike Warriner, UK engineering director at Google, said: "The UK has a proud computing history but with more and more industries wanting computer scientists, coding has never been in more demand. It's great that teachers will be trained with the skills they need to teach children from a young age and hopefully inspire the next generation of developers and programmers."

Michel Van der Bel, Microsoft's UK vice-president, described the government's initiative as "fantastic news for both teachers and pupils".

The announcement coincides with the launch of the Year of the Code campaign, which aims to stimulate young people's interest in the power and potential of computer science. 

Several events are set to take place as part of the initiative, including a week-long programme in March, during which all schools will be encouraged to teach every pupil at least one hour of coding.

Schools will be required to teach the new curriculum, which replaces the old, computer literacy-based approach, from September - although some schools have already introduced it. Children will be taught modern content such as how to code, create programmes and understand how a computer works.

Several systems are already in place to ensure those in education jobs have the skills necessary to teach the new curriculum. The British Computer Society has been given over £2 million to set up a network of 'Master Teachers' to provide training and resources.

Bursaries have also been increased for those wanting to become computing teachers and scholarships of £25,000 are being offered to computer science teachers.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801690335-ADNFCR
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