BCS welcomes comment "we're not doing enough to teach the next generation of programmers" by Prime Minister

11 November 2011

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has welcomed comments made yesterday by the Prime Minister David Cameron on the subject of computer science education.

Mr Cameron said: "I think Eric Schmidt is right... we're not doing enough to teach the next generation of programmers. ... One of the things you hear from the businesses here in Tech City is that ‘I don’t just want people who are literate in technology I want people who can create programs’, and I think that’s a real wake up call for us in terms of our education system and we are acting on that."

The Institute, together with the Computing At School group (CAS), has been campaigning for a number of years for computer science to be included on the curriculum. Together they have already developed a model curriculum that describes what computing principles, techniques and concepts children should master by age 16. The curriculum is the result of a two year collaboration including members of Google, Microsoft, Cambridge University, the Open University and many schoolteachers in CAS as well as many other universities and organisations.

David Clarke, MBE, Chief Executive Officer, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT says: "I’m delighted that the Prime Minister has recognised this important issue. We have been campaigning for computer science to be taught in schools for a number of years. This is vital if we want to ensure that we have the talent UK plc needs for the future."

The UK needs professionals who can invent new digital technologies, integrate those inventions into technology platforms, and build software applications that address business needs. We also need professionals capable of protecting our information, our digital infrastructure and our intellectual property. 

The best way to make sure we have those professionals is to teach the underpinning principles of computing in school.

David concludes: "We need Government to give clear signals to schools that computing is important by allowing it as an option within the national curriculum. We need to give youngsters the knowledge necessary to become our technology pioneers of the future".

David Cameron’s comments came following his visit to Tech City yesterday

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