Microsoft has given large grants to organisations in the UK in a bid to boost youngsters’ computer skills.
The money, which forms part of Microsoft’s $75m commitment to increase access to computer science education across the world through Microsoft YouthSpark, will be handed to The Royal Society, UK Youth and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
The Royal Society will use its share to commission research focusing on the teaching of computing in English schools. This will lead to a set of proposals to improve teaching in the future.
UK Youth will train 440 youth workers in hundreds of centres to help 16,000 young people learn computing skills and coding via its Generation Code project.
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT will develop a toolkit for 4,500 headteachers across the country to deliver high-quality computing education for their students. This will include advice, guidance, case studies and action plans to assist teachers and their senior leadership teams, who will also be supported with seminars, workshops and conferences hosted across the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.
Bill Mitchell, Director, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, Academy of Computing commented “Thanks to our YouthSpark grant from Microsoft, we will be developing and distributing a toolkit to every secondary school in England that will enable teachers to provide an outstanding computing education to all their students. The grant also means we will be able to adopt different engagement strategies that ensure the toolkit is used and changes teaching in the classroom, which is just as essential as the toolkit itself.” Bill also talk more about the YouthSpark grant and computer science education in this piece.
Hugh Milward, Director of Corporate Affairs at Microsoft UK, said: “We’ve come a long way in our commitment to increase computer science education and resources for young people. Today’s investment will see this extended to three equally dedicated UK charitable organisations. All will receive vital support for their valuable work, creating new opportunities for young people and improving professional practice.
“Funding will not only provide over 16,000 young people and students with the opportunities and skills to enter the increasing digitally fluent jobs market but, crucially, this money will help youth workers, headteachers and computer science teachers create and access those opportunities through new developments in teaching and assessing computing.”
Through its Philanthropies division, Microsoft has handed grants to more than 100 non-profit organisations in 55 countries to increase access to computer science education for all young people.