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February 6, 2014

UK offers funds to boost tech skills in schools

The government will provide match funding from industry and business, allowing new and existing teachers to be trained by the experts.

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK Exchequer Chancellor and Education Secretary have granted a funding of £500,000 to train teachers in software coding to create the next generation of tech entrepreneurs in schools.

Apart from training the teachers, the funds will be used to equip schools to teach the new computing curriculum scheduled to be introduced in September 2014 that has been designed by the Royal Society of Engineering in partnership with companies like Google and Microsoft.

Under the Year of Code campaign, the government will conduct a series of events over the next 12 months to promote computing that will include a week-long programme in March 2014 to inspire all schools to dedicate at least one hour of coding classes in that week.

UK Education Secretary Michael Gove said the new computing curriculum will give children the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.

"That is why we replaced the obsolete and boring curriculum with one that is forward-thinking, modern, and drawn up by teachers, industry experts and leading technology firms," Gove added.

The new computing curriculum, which will replace the old ICT programme of study, will have with more up-to-date content for teaching children how to code, create programmes and understand computers.

As part of the initiative, the government will offer BCS with over £2m to build a network of 400 ‘Master Teachers’ to train teachers in schools and provide resources for use in the classroom.

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The government will also be providing £1.1m to train primary teachers working in the classroom using online resources and in school workshops, while increasing financial support for people who wish to become computing teachers.

The programme will also provide scholarships of £25,000 to computer science teachers with support from Microsoft, Google, IBM and Facebook.

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