Plan for 400 ‘master’ computing teachers


Four hundred “master teachers” are to be trained to help spread best practice to deliver the new computing curriculum.

Funding worth £2 million has been allocated to the programme which is to be delivered during the next two years via the existing Network of Excellence run by BCS, the chartered institute for IT.

The idea is that each master will pass on their training to 40 schools, meaning computing teachers in 16,000 primary and secondary schools will receive training around the new computing curriculum and the computer science GCSE. 

The draft curriculum has a strong emphasis on the principles of computer science and practical programming, including algorithms, coding and hardware. The GCSE is to be included as a science option for the English Baccalaureate from January 2014.

Speaking this week, education minister Elizabeth Truss said the new curriculum provides “exciting challenges” for computing teachers.

She added: “We are raising our expectations of the subject knowledge they should have, including how computers work, programming and coding.

“We want a generation of children being taught how to write computer animations or design apps for SmartPhones. These master teachers will spread good practice, knowledge and expertise throughout schools.”

Bill Mitchell, director of BCS Academy of Computing, added: “Our plan is to work in partnership with the Computing At School group, universities and schools to extend (our) network into a national infrastructure that can provide CPD opportunities for 16,000 teachers over the next two years.”

The new computing curriculum has caused controversy after it emerged that the Department for Education made more than 50 changes to the draft programmes of study that had been compiled by two steering groups of industry experts. Critics say this has resulted in a curriculum too heavily focused on programming and computer science at the expense of creativity, digital literacy and e-safety.


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