A couple of weeks ago I hosted a roundtable discussion with the Guardian about computer science and the implications of its inclusion on the national curriculum. As a company, we have been working with the education community for decades in the UK and wanted to bring together the key players in this space to discuss what we, as an industry need to do to ensure we have qualified people in the UK equipped for the jobs of the future.
There is no argument that we need more Computer Scientists in the UK. The world of work is changing at an astounding speed, so that it isn’t just the high tech sector which is crying out for computationally literate graduates – many technical and business jobs, such as engineers, architects, doctors and even lawyers also need computational expertise.
But having won the battle to get computer science onto the curriculum, we now face the challenge of training teachers to deliver it. The discussion was thought-provoking and I found it very encouraging that the desire from my colleagues in the industry to help equip teachers to teach computer science was matched by an openness from the educators around the table who would welcome our support. Collaboration is definitely needed, and there was appetite to convene again, to come up with further ideas to help prepare schools for the new curriculum.
The countdown to September and the first ever primary school computer science lesson has started. And it’s my job to ensure that we continue the conversation we began at the roundtable – and, even more importantly, act on it!
It’s a really interesting read – the discussion is written up here.
|Hugh Milward, Director of Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
December 10, 2013