25 June 2018

Teachers in Northern Ireland can now access funding to take the BCS Certificate in Teaching Computer Science - thanks to a special grant from Google.

The £23,500 ($31,000) grant awarded to Computing At School (CAS) Northern Ireland is part of Grow with Google’s commitment to train and equip teachers with the right skills to prepare the future workforce.

The CAS Regional Centre for Northern Ireland is based at Stranmillis University College in Belfast. Dr Irene Bell, Chair - CAS NI, said: “Teachers in Northern Ireland are delighted that for the first time they can obtain a bursary to undertake the BCS Certificate in Teaching Computer Science. Thanks to a successful Google Educator Award, 40 teachers in Northern Ireland will be undertaking this quality assured certificate. The teachers, from both primary and post-primary schools, will be embarking on the ‘guided route’ of the certificate ensuring that full support is given to them on their year long journey. This award will make a significant impact in moving the computing agenda forward in Northern Ireland and to ensuring that the recently established professional learning communities will have Master Teachers leading them and sharing their newly created quality resources.”

To ensure all young people have the opportunity to learn computer science (CS), it’s critical that educators are prepared and supported to teach with confidence and competence. Google believes every student should have the opportunity to learn CS; with that comes the responsibility of preparing teachers to deliver a CS curriculum with competence and confidence.

Julia Adamson, Director of Education at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “This is great news and we welcome this announcement. Computing affects almost everything we do and it is vital that we support teachers delivering the computing curriculum by helping them gain the skills and knowledge they need to inspire future generations - and ensure they have an excellent computing education.”

About the certificate

The certificate enables teachers to demonstrate their teaching competence in the computer science elements of the new computing curriculum. The certificate has been devised and implemented by Computing At School (CAS) and is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Teaching computing requires a good understanding of computer science as it is taught in school as well as the development of appropriate skills. The certificate provides professional recognition for this. Working towards the certificate helps teachers who do not have formal teaching qualifications in computing, but need to demonstrate competence in order to progress and gain recognition. It also helps to consolidate and extend existing skills and support work in the classroom.

For further information: www.computingatschool.org.uk/certificate

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