67% of teachers across Britain feel under-equipped to teach coding

However training opportunities and new funds in the South West are poised to tackle the deficit
8th November 2017

A survey carried out by Bristol-based IT consultancy BJSS in partnership with YouGov has found that more needs to be done to equip teachers across the UK with the skills to teach coding to children.

It uncovered that a large percentage (67%) of teachers felt under-equipped to teach coding effectively and four out of five surveyed felt the Department of Education should offer better training.

“76% of teachers we surveyed felt that it was important for technology companies in the private sector to engage more with local schools to help”

 

The survey, conducted with 500 primary and secondary school teachers from schools across Britain, also revealed that 39% did not have access to adequate IT and software to teach coding.

Glynn Robinson, managing director at BJSS, says: “To safeguard the UK’s digital competitiveness, it is crucial that primary and secondary school teachers are properly equipped and resourced to teach the digital and coding skills that will be required by the time today’s schoolchildren enter the workforce.”

Tackling the tech deficit

Despite not so promising stats, a lot is being done – particularly in the South West – to tackle these skills and support deficits in British schools to ensure the next generation can carry on advances in technology enterprise.

BJSS has partnered with Turinglab, an organisation dedicated to teaching coding skills to British school children, and Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, to deliver the UK’s first creative coding platform aligned with the national computing curriculum. Over 1,000 pupils have already benefited from free Turinglab learning, 100 of which have received a scholarship from BJSS. A national rollout has been committed to for 2018 and BJSS is looking not only to double its scholarship fund but also to extend the training to teachers.

In addition, the department for education has just announced a generous grant for those wanting to train to become teachers in computing, with Bath Spa University offering an ‘outstanding’ rated course now open to new applicants.

Glynn adds: “76% of teachers we surveyed felt that it was important for technology companies in the private sector to engage more with local schools to help. We believe that companies like BJSS have a role to play in ensuring that the skills of the next generation of IT talent are properly developed. We are already helping the students and are excited to extend this to teachers as well.”

Improving skills

It has also just been announced by the West of England Combined Authority that a £4 million innovation pilot, announced in July by the Department for Work and Pensions, is coming to the South West. The scheme aims to help improve skills and opportunities for up to 3,000 adults which could offer further potential for teachers and those working in education in the area to bolster their tech and coding skills.

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles says: “This is an important new project that supports my aim of boosting skills across the region, improving job opportunities for all.

“I want to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or personal circumstances, can access support to develop workplace skills so that they can fulfil their potential.

“We will work closely with the three local councils to make sure this programme reaches as many eligible residents as possible.”

You can find out more about the survey on the BJSS website and the YouGov website or by following them on Twitter here: @BJSSLtd and @YouGov.