Nov 19th, 2017
Advancing our students’ understanding of the principles and practices of computing is critical to developing a competitive workforce for the 21st century.
In every field, businesses of all sizes are looking to hire people who understand computing, so we need more students to leave school confident in skills like coding, computational thinking, machine learning and cybersecurity.
The U.K. has already led the way in preparing for this future by making computer science education a part of the school curriculum in 2014. But we know there is more to do to ensure young people in every community have access to world-class computer science education.
A recent report from the Royal Society found that despite the good progress in recent years, only 11 percent of Key Stage 4 pupils take GCSE computer science. The majority of teachers are teaching an unfamiliar school subject without adequate support. These teachers are eager to offer computer science to their students but they need access to subject area training to build their confidence.
The U.K. government’s announcement that they’re investing £100 million for an additional 8,000 computer science teachers supported by a new National Centre for Computing is an encouraging step forward. It builds on the progress that’s been made since computing was added to the curriculum in 2014 by helping to ensure teachers have the specialist training and support they need to educate the next generation of British computer scientists.
We want to continue to play our part too.
Today we’re announcing £1 million in grants to support training for secondary school computing teachers in the U.K.
The Google.org grant will allow the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the British Computer Society and the National STEM Learning Centre to deliver free computer science and pedagogy training for thousands of key stage 3 and key stage 4 teachers in England over three years, with a specific focus on disadvantaged areas.
Through this effort, they will make make online courses and professional development resources available to teachers anywhere, anytime, for free, and deliver free in-person workshops for teachers across the country.
Googlers care deeply about helping to develop our future computer scientists, and many of them will give their time and skills to this program. A team of Google engineers and learning and development specialists will volunteer with Raspberry Pi to ensure that all teachers are able to access the online resources and courses.
This grant is part of Google’s long-standing commitment to computer science education. Through Google.org, we’ve given nearly $40 million to organizations around the globe ensuring that traditionally underrepresented students have access to opportunities to explore computer science.
In the U.K., we also support teacher recruitment and professional development by teaming up with organizations like Teach First and University of Wolverhampton, and we focus on inspiring more children, especially girls and those from disadvantaged areas, to take up computing through Code Club UK after-school clubs.
CS education and computational thinking skills are key to the future, and we’re committed to supporting Raspberry Pi—and other organizations like them—to ensure teachers and young people have the skills they’ll need to succeed.