Coding essential to future curriculum, says Michael Gove

Education secretary Michael Gove has outlined coding skills as essential to the curriculum of the future

Education secretary Michael Gove has outlined coding skills as a key part of the curriculum of the future.

In a speech at Brighton College, Gove said: “It will be impossible to call yourself educated in years to come unless you understand, and can influence, the changes technology brings.

“One thing we can be certain of is that the acquisition of coding skills, the ability to think computationally and the creativity inherent in designing new programmes will help prepare all our young people better for the future.”

The speech follows the government’s ditching of the national curriculum programme for ICT.

A new national curriculum for all subjects is set to be introduced into schools next year.

“For children who have become digital natives and who speak fluent technology as an additional language, the ICT curriculum was clearly inadequate,” said Gove.

He said: “Thanks to the work of Ian Livingstone, the British Computer Society and gifted teachers across the country excitement, and innovation, are returning to one of the most important and testing intellectual disciplines in modern education.

“Technology will change our lives in ways we cannot anticipate in the years to come – and it will certainly transform teaching as the revolution in higher education is proving,” he said.

In the speech, Gove criticised children playing games such as Angry Birds rather than learning to code, prompting a hostile response on Twitter.

“The opening paragraphs of Michael Gove's speech are ridiculously stupid. I got into coding as a teen precisely because I liked video games,” tweeted Economist reporter Daniel Knowles.

Ian Kennedy, lecturer at De Montfort University tweeted: “What if my son was coding Angry Birds, Mr Gove? Somebody did code that you know.”

Read more on IT technical skills