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Royal Society launches a major survey of computing education in schools

31 October 2016

The Royal Society has today launched a new teacher survey to learn more about how computer science is being taught in schools.

The survey is part of the Royal Society’s ongoing Computing Education Project which is supported by Microsoft and Google.

Teachers from primary and secondary schools across the UK will be asked to take part in the survey, giving them the chance to share their experience of teaching computing, the opportunities they have found and created, and the challenges they face in teaching the subject. The findings of the research will help inform the development of support for computer science teachers in schools and colleges in the UK.

Steve Furber, CBE FREng FRS, chair of the expert advisory group which leads the project, said:

“Computing underpins almost all aspects of the modern world and many new developments in science and engineering could not have been realised without it. Businesses are also increasingly seeking employees who understand computing and are able to apply these skills.

“This important programme of work has been designed to improve the quality, scale and effectiveness of computing education in schools and colleges across the UK. The survey launching today will help shape and inform the development of future support for teachers of computer science.”

In 2012 the Royal Society published Shut Down or Restart?, a review of ICT and computing education in schools. This report led to the development of an entirely new computing curriculum for 5-16 year olds. This year sees the first cohort of students studying for the new computer science GSCE, which has replaced the previous ICT qualification.

With the curriculum in place the Royal Society has partnered with Microsoft and Google to examine how it is being taught, what opportunities exist to make the subject a popular success, and what can be done to make the UK a world leader in computer science education. The project will also examine the needs of teachers and students themselves, in particular considering questions relating to gender diversity and assessment.