How Bath’s tech teachers are plugging the South West skills gap

Three Bath Spa University students training to become teachers in Computer Science and IT share their experiences
26th February 2018

If there’s one thing the South West is known for, it’s the expanse of tech and digital talent, ground-breaking research and high-growth tech startups – and that’s just the start. But in order to continue to grow and thrive, it’s becoming more apparent that the talent pool must find a way to pass on their skills and passion to the next generation.

At Bath Spa University’s Institute for Education, a group of tech professionals are already working hard to change this. By training to become secondary school computer science teachers through the University’s outstanding-rated PGCE teaching course, they are preparing to take their talent and experience to Generation Z.

“I want to inspire more women into computing”


So, to discover what motivates these professionals to become computing teachers, we caught up with three of them to find out more.

TechSPARK: Why did you want to become a computing teacher?

Jerome: (pictured right) The opportunity to teach in an ever-expanding and increasingly relevant subject, coupled with my existing passion for computing made it an enticing choice.

Danielle: (pictured left) I had already decided at the age of 6 that I wanted to become a teacher and computing was always the subject that I excelled in. As I progressed through education in computing I noticed how low the percentage of girls were in the industry and I want to try and do something about this. I want to inspire more women into computing and teach all students in a fun and inspiring way.

Michelle: (pictured right) I agree, I have always had a keen interest in education and the way children learn and see knowledge of computer science and IT as essential life and employability skills. I have been working in this industry for several years doing freelance work and felt it was the right time to give something back. I would also love to see more girls taking up the subject.

TS: What has been your favourite aspect of PGCE Computer Science with ICT so far?

Danielle: My favourite part of the PGCE so far has to be my first placement. The school was so warm and welcoming – they made me feel like a member of staff and not a trainee teacher. My mentor was also incredible, they helped and supported me through every stage of the placement.

“I gained confidence in my teaching and enjoyed each lesson more and more”


Michelle: For me, it’s been the combination of university and school-based professional studies and subject sessions. It works really well and has given me the confidence to stand up in front of new classes and start teaching whilst on placement. It is an amazing feeling when the pupils start responding to you and are engaged in something you have given them to do.

Jerome: I also found that my favourite aspect so far has been the last couple weeks of the first school placement. At this point I had gained confidence in my teaching and enjoyed each lesson more and more.

TS: Why did you choose Bath Spa University as an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) provider?

Jerome: The strong reputation of the PGCE course at Bath Spa University, combined with being in the beautiful town of Bath made it a very desirable option.

Michelle: I chose Bath Spa as it stood out as being an outstanding provider of ITT. During the interview process I got a good feel for the level of the training and high expectations. I felt it stood out against other providers in the UK.

“The reputation Bath Spa University has with their teachers does not just stay within the local area”


Danielle: The reason I chose Bath Spa over the offers that I had received due to the supportive environment they offered and their reputation amongst schools who aim to take Bath Spa teachers. The reputation the University has with their teachers does not just stay within the local area, when attending an interview recently in a school in Surrey they were pleased that I was studying at Bath Spa due to the standard that they achieve with their trainee teachers and the work ethic instilled from the start of the course.

Find out more about training to become a teacher in secondary computing by heading to the Bath Spa University website.