Scholarships announced to attract computer science teachers
Education Secretary Michael Gove has revealed plans to offer scholarships worth £20,000 to attract high-achieving graduates to train as computer science teachers.
Graduates are to be offered scholarships in an initiative launched to replace the current information and communications technology (ICT) teacher training courses with new industry-supported computer science courses.
The British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT, is managing the project for the The Department for Education (DfE). The programme will also be funded by companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, BT and IBM.
Speaking in January, Mr Gove said that ICT in UK schools must be radically revamped to prepare pupils for the future. Outdated ICT training courses will be now replaced by The Computer Science Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course. It will begin next September, when around 50 scholarships will be available to applicants with a 1st or a 2.1 degree.
Gove said, "If we want our country to produce the next Sir Tim Berners-Lee – creator of the internet – we need the very best computer science teachers in our classrooms.”
Computer science departments at universities, including Cambridge, Manchester and Imperial College London, have already signed up.
Mr Gove also indicated that the new computer science GCSE course could become part of the English Baccalaureate qualification.
The government also announced a project to help retrain current teachers. Partly funded by a £150,000 grant from government, the scheme should see 500 ICT teachers boost their knowledge and skill set.
However, Stephen Twigg MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary said that Gove's plans are still behind the times.
He said, “Michael Gove has developed an analog curriculum in a digital age. If we are to remain competitive, we need to instigate a Computer Science revolution, starting with getting primary school children to learn coding."
Both schemes will be running in England.