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New Computing Curriculum: Parents Invited to 'Get With The Programme…'

LONDON, August 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

60% of parents are not aware (or are not sure) of changes to the computing curriculum* which come in to effect this September. The new curriculum will focus on computer science, information technology and digital literacy and is set to be the biggest change to the way IT is taught since computers were first introduced into schools.

The latest survey** by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT also reveals that 88% of parents think learning computing will help their child be more successful in life - yet only 48% say they would encourage their children to study the subject to GCSE or A level.

Bill Mitchell, BCS Director of Education says: "It's great that parents recognise just how important computing is and they think learning about it will help their child be more successful, but the fact they are less enthusiastic when it comes to encouraging their child to take a computing qualification is a real worry. Virtually everything we do these days depends on technology so it's important children learn about it and can study the underlying principles that explain how computing works. There is a huge demand for people with the right skills to work in technology and it is vital that we encourage youngsters to consider careers in this field."

The new curriculum has been specially developed to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need throughout the rest of their lives. Youngsters will learn how computers and computer systems work, how to design and build programmes, and how to develop their ideas using technology.

Bill concludes: "Interestingly, 67% of parents questioned in our survey also said they think we need more people who can invent technology to solve the world's problems. These future inventors could well be their own children - if they are given the right support, encouragement and education.

We know that pupils from primary school onwards enjoy and are good at computing and that it aids their intellectual development, literacy and numeracy skills. Learning the fundamental principles and techniques of computer science is also important for the development of the UK's future engineers, scientists and creators of technology."

For more information about the new curriculum visit: academy.bcs.org/parents

Editors

*New computing curriculum applies in England only.

Survey Results 

Parents were asked: Are you aware of the change to the ICT curriculum that will come into effect in September? Participants were grouped according to their nearest city:

Bristol - 61%, Birmingham - 53%, London - 46%, Nottingham - 38%, Liverpool - 33%, Manchester - 31%, Norwich - 27%, Sheffield - 26%, Newcastle - 17%, Southampton - 17%, Leeds - 17%

**The survey was conducted online by TLF Research (The Leadership Factor) between 6 - 10 June 2014. A total of 1,020 parents of 5 -18 year olds participated in the survey in England.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT supports a number of initiatives to help teachers prepare for the new computing curriculum which launches in September including:

  • Computing At School (CAS) Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science; a network of Master Teachers offering fellow teachers CPD training and support. It includes over 750 schools and 70 universities
  • QuickStart Computing, sponsored by Microsoft,  which will provide free off the shelf short CPD courses which can be run by teachers in school
  • Barefoot Computing; led by BCS, in partnership with BT, and is funded by the Department for Education - the project provides cross-curricular computer science resources for primary school teachers with no previous computer science knowledge.
  • Scholarships to encourage more people to become computing teachers

Our mission as BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is to enable the information society.  We promote wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information technology science and practice.  We bring together industry, academics, practitioners and government to share knowledge, promote new thinking, inform the design of new curricula, shape public policy and inform the public.  

Our vision is to be a world-class organisation for IT. Our 75,000 strong membership includes practitioners, businesses, academics and students in the UK and internationally. We deliver a range of professional development tools for practitioners and employees.  A leading IT qualification body, we offer a range of widely recognised qualifications.

http://www.bcs.org

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