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- Education Professionals
£20,000 offered to computer science teachers
The move is part of a package of reforms aimed at overhauling computer science education, giving children the skills to write programs rather than simply focusing on word processing skills.
The education secretary, Michal Gove, announced that current information and communications technology teacher training courses will be axed from next year. Instead, ministers will offer scholarships worth £20,000 to attract high-achieving graduates to train as computer science teachers.
Teachers and industry leaders are concerned that the way ICT is currently taught in schools leaves children bored and learning little beyond the most basic digital skills.
Under the new measures, industry experts have set out the subject knowledge required of all new computer science teachers. This includes being able to demonstrate an understanding of key concepts such as algorithms and logic.
The new teacher training courses will begin next September, when around 50 scholarships will be available to applicants with a 1st or a 2.1 degree.
The government also announced that about 500 existing teachers with an ICT background would receive training to teach computer science. About half of these will be expert teachers who will share their skills and knowledge with other teachers.
A network of computer science teaching excellence will forge links between schools, universities and employers. Computer science departments at universities including Cambridge, Manchester and Imperial College have already signed up, as have Microsoft, BT and IBM.