Where are we going to get the teachers: UK Version

March 4, 2013 at 7:56 am 4 comments

The biggest challenge to computing education in the United States is finding the teachers.  Turns out that the issue is the same in the UK.  I read on the Computing at Schools discussion boards, and part of the explanation for the ‘collapse’ described below is confusion about the curriculum.  What’s going to be offered?  ICT or Computing?  The bigger picture remains — just as we’re having a hard time getting the students engaged about computing, we’re having a hard time engaging the teachers, too.

The government’s plans to revolutionise computer science in schools are in jeopardy after a “collapse” in the number of applications to teacher training courses, experts have warned.

Graduates are shunning courses designed to prepare teachers for a new curriculum backed by technology giants including Facebook, Microsoft and IBM, figures reveal, despite scholarships of £20,000 for the best recruits.

The number of people applying for computer science PGCEs in England is down by a third compared with applications for the old ICT course at the same time last year. The number of applicants last year was itself down by more than 50 per cent on 2011, which suggests a continuing crisis in recruitment.

via ‘Collapse’ in trainee numbers threatens computing plans – news – TES.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alanone1  |  March 4, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I wonder if part of the problem is the “enormous amounts of unnecessary and gratuitous mess” in current manifestations of computing. I think very few people would be attracted to teach such a hodgepodge of hackish patchwork.



  • 2. alfredtwo  |  March 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I suspect fear plays a big role. Alan may indeed be right that the curriculum is confusing. I suspect that confusion contributes to the fear.

  • 3. Bruce Nightingale  |  March 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    The ‘collapse’ in numbers has many possible explanations. A major factor is finance. Until this academic year training to be a teacher was free and the trainee received a free training allowance of £9, 000 a year – approximately $15, 000 !

    There was a high attrition rate. Now trainee’s have to pay $15, 000 fees. Bursary payments are no longer given to everyone.

    A very different recruitment process that coincides with a requirement for graduate’s to hold a CS degree – they’re a scarce commodity.

  • […] they do about finance.  We don’t know the costs are of that ignorance, but we do know that it has been difficult and expensive to provide enough education to correct that […]


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