Teachers feel unprepared for September’s new computing curriculum
Over half of England’s teachers (60 per cent) are not confident delivering the new computing curriculum, according to YouGov survey results* released today by TES and Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation.
The findings come as schools prepare to break up for the summer, with a shake-up of how computing is taught due to start in September. Moving beyond lessons on how to use Microsoft Word and Excel, all children over the age of five will be taught computational thinking and some level of basic coding. Secondary school students will be required to study several programming languages, such as Python – a text based programming language.
Half of teachers surveyed said they had yet to look for any support, guidance or resources to prepare for teaching the new computing curriculum. The most commonly reported source of support was other teachers at school (26 per cent), followed by online teaching resources such as TES (15 per cent) and professional training (15 per cent).
A fifth of primary school teachers – who will all be expected to teach computing - surveyed said they were not planning to look for any support, guidance or to prepare for teaching computing in the future.
Over two thirds (67 per cent) of teachers said they didn’t feel very or at all supported by the Department for Education – despite the department announcing a number of funding packages over the last year to help train teachers. Last month, the government announced it would be working with top computing firms, including Microsoft, Google and IBM, to train more than 45, 000 computing teachers.
There are an increasing number of voluntary organisations offering training and support in this area, keen to work with teachers to build their skills and confidence. But just two per cent of teachers said they had turned to them for support so far.
Helen Goulden, Executive Director at Nesta, said: “With the new school year just around the corner these results are very worrying. The ability to make and create through technology is key to participating in and understanding the world around us, as well as an increasingly desired and required skill in the jobs market. Many great organisations are already teaching children to code and create – such as Code Club, the network of after school clubs. There’s a big opportunity here for this ever growing number of organisations to work with teachers to help children learn how to create – rather than just use – digital technologies.”
Helpful organisations and resources to help teachers with the new computing curriculum can be found on the TES and Nesta websites:
Notes to editor
For media enquiries please contact Natalie Hodgson on 020 7438 2614 / [email protected]
*The survey was carried out amongst 788 teachers in England by YouGov on behalf of Nesta and TES in May 2014.
About Nesta (www.nesta.org.uk): Nesta is the UK’s innovation foundation.
At Bett 2012 Michal Gove announced a consultation to replace the ICT curriculum with more creative and rigorous computer science teaching at schools. This followed Nesta’s 2011 Next Gen report which showed that the education system was failing to produce the kind of talent being demanded by the UK’s £2 billion video games industry, as well as the visual effects sector. Recognising the importance for digital skills beyond the creative industries, in May 2013, with partners from big businesses and technology brands, Nesta, Mozilla and Nominet Trust launched the campaign and website Make Things Do Stuff to promote digital making skills to young people across the UK. For more information please see: http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/next-gen-next-steps