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One-third of schools admit to making no investment in coding training for teachers

The current computing curriculum has been in place for a year, but the support given to teachers delivering these classes varies across the UK

One-third of schools admit they have not invested any money in training teachers to deliver the new computing curriculum, according to research.

Freedom of information (FOI) requests by enterprise software company MapR have revealed that the support teachers are receiving is inconsistent across the country, with some schools investing nothing in training and others investing more than £3,000.

Paul Tarantino, director at MapR Technologies, said: “Last year the government pledged £3.5m on new curriculum training. But this information shows that it’s simply not being filtered down so that every young person has a trained teacher. It’s shocking to see such a huge discrepancy in what was said in the run-up to the election compared to what these promises have translated to on the ground.”

Of those asked, 22% were investing over £3,000 on training teachers to deliver the computer science curriculum, 33% spent between £500 and £1,000, while 11% spent between £100 and £500.

There were also inconsistencies in the number of teachers trained from school to school, with some opting to train up to six teachers in how to provide the computing curriculum. More than half of schools trained three or four teachers, 34% trained one or two teachers, 11% trained five or six teachers and 10% trained no teachers at all.

These variations will lead to inconsistent standards of computer lessons so children will have a different learning experience depending on region.

Unfortunately, many teachers have admitted they are not fully clued up on how to deliver the new curriculum and, according to a recent survey, almost half of students think teachers need more computing training.

Read more about the computer science curriculum

  • Trainee computing teacher tells Computer Weekly why she came off 20-year career break to inspire the next generation.
  • Primary school kids are excited to start coding with computing curriculum, but parents have no idea.

Tarantino pointed out that although the government has invested in initiatives such as the Year of Code, which focused on making sure Key Stage 3 students were proficient in more than two programming languages, these goals are unrealistic for some schools.

“While the Year of Code sounded great in theory, it has clearly been flawed in practice. We need a consistent approach to teacher training across the board, and more schools to take advantage of free training programmes offered by private businesses, if we want the UK to compete on a global stage,” said Tarantino.

Read more on IT education and training

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