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Osborne urged to budget for ICT teacher training

01/03/2012 Kelly
Education and technology industry leaders have called on the chancellor George Osborne to make more funds available to train people in ICT teaching jobs.

The Conservative MP has received a letter signed collectively by the Next Gen Skills campaign requesting that he makes room in his 2012 budget for an ICT teacher training infrastructure.

Next Gen Skills is an alliance of leading figures in the UK's digital, creative and technology industries as well as skills and educational bodies that aims to promote computer programming skills in a bid to support economic growth.

Ahead of the March 21st budget announcement, the organisation wrote the letter to Mr Osborne urging him to "put his money where his mouth is" and back the development of an ICT teacher training infrastructure.

A consultation into the replacement of the current ICT curriculum with new courses designed to teach computer science and programming is under way and the Next Gen Skills letter calls on the chancellor to back the reforms proposed in January by the education secretary Michael Gove.

"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," said Next Gen Skills' Theo Blackwell.

With plans to introduce the new reformed National Curriculum for the school year beginning in September 2014, the letter highlights that teachers will need increased support ahead of the changes.

Announcing the reform proposals earlier this year, Mr Gove said: "We will be looking at initial teacher training courses carefully in the coming year so that teachers get the skills and experience they need to use technology confidently."

The move to reform ICT lessons came following a report by the Royal Society which found that just 35 per cent of ICT teachers in the UK were specialists in the subject.

Posted by Theo FouldsADNFCR-2164-ID-801307254-ADNFCR
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