Government launches Year of Code campaign and £500,000 to train teachers how to programme
Campaign designed to raise awareness and interest in computer programming
Chancellor George Osborne and education secretary Michael Gove will unveil a £500,000 fund to train teachers how to programme as part of a new campaign designed to raise awareness and interest in computer programming called Year of Code.
The funding, set to be announced today at the Royal Society of Arts in Central London this afternoon, will be awarded to businesses who are prepared to match the funding and then use the allocation for projects that train teachers across the UK.
Details of the Year of Code campaign are scarce but there will be a series of events taking place over the next 12 months to promote computing. It will also include a week-long programme in March encouraging all schools across the UK to teach every pupil at least one hour of coding in that week.
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Rohan Silva, chairman of Year of Code and former senior policy advisor to the prime minister, said: "Computer coding is the lingua franca of the global technology economy. If the UK is to remain at the vanguard of innovation worldwide, we need to ensure that our workforce is equipped with the skills of the 21st century, not of the past. Year of Code is all about making sure this vital change takes place - and fast."
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.
The Department for Education is introducing a new national computing syllabus this September, which will be compulsory for all students between the ages of 5 and 16.
The new computing curriculum replaces the old ICT programme of study, which focused on computer literacy, with more up–to–date content teaching children how to code, create programmes and understand how a computer works.
The programme was devised with teachers and experts including the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Royal Academy of Engineering, with input from Microsoft, Google and leaders in the computer games industry.