Google, Microsoft and the Royal Society are joining forces to develop excellence in computer science education in schools and colleges.
The Royal Society is commissioning a study, funded by Google and Microsoft, and led by Professor Stephen Furber FRS, to understand the challenges faced by teachers delivering computing and computer science and share best practice which can be adopted more widely.
The research will establish the progress that has been made since the introduction of the new English computing curriculum in 2014, identify areas that still need to be addressed, and will be used as the basis of a wider action plan to transform computing in schools.
The project aims to equip teachers to teach young people the skills required to help solve tomorrow’s challenges and help inspire more children to take up digital careers in the future.
In a world where technology is increasingly embedded into our daily lives we need to ensure that the computer science curriculum equips young people to take advantage of the opportunities the digital world offers
The partnership also aims to provide teachers with high quality classroom resources, guidance, and continuing professional development programmes. It will also develop effective assessment tools for teachers and help equip schools to address the gender imbalance and inspire young girls to take up computing.
The plan will also identify opportunities to help young people relate to digital careers through partnerships with businesses.
Professor Tom McLeish, Chair of the Royal Society’s Education Committee said: “As a subject with a rich and vital future, computer science not only needs high-quality teacher training and development, best practice in the classroom, and inspiring materials for pupils; it also needs solid, evidence-based research about what works.
“We are delighted that Google and Microsoft are supporting the research phase of this very important project. In a world where technology is increasingly embedded into our daily lives we need to ensure that the computer science curriculum equips young people to take advantage of the opportunities the digital world offers.”
While the full impact of the project will continue to be felt in classrooms for many years, pupils will start to benefit as soon as the findings of the launch study are made available to head teachers, teachers and school governors.