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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Graduates to be offered £20,000 to train as computer science teachers

Michael Gove announces new courses designed with help from Facebook, Microsoft and IBM to improve basic, boring school lessons


Graduates are to be offered £20,000 scholarships to train as computer science teachers in an initiative launched by the UK government and backed by companies including Microsoft and Facebook.

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, Michael Gove, announced on Friday 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.

Gove said: "Computer science is not just a rigorous, fascinating and intellectually challenging subject. It is also vital to our success in the global race.

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