Computing Teachers Call For More Training Amidst Concerns Pupils Know More Than Them

The following is a press release from Computing At School

Quickstart Computing

Survey reveals that two thirds (68%) of primary and secondary teachers are concerned that their pupils have a better understanding of computing than they do.

A survey carried out by Computing at School and Microsoft has revealed that although almost three quarters (73%) of teachers responsible for teaching computing feel confident delivering the new computing curriculum, many still lack confidence in certain areas, particularly when it comes to creating and debugging computer programmes and computer coding. Pupils also echoed their sentiment, with nearly half (47%) of young people aged 9-16 years claiming that their teachers needed more training and 41% admitting to regularly helping their teachers use technology.

After the first term of the new computing curriculum 69% of teachers surveyed said they enjoyed teaching computing. However, 81% called for more training, development and learning materials.

The survey findings highlight key issues which Microsoft and Computing At School have been working to tackle in the past nine months. With funding from Microsoft and the Department for Education, Computing At School has produced QuickStart Computing a brand new training toolkit to help teachers build their confidence in delivering the new computing curriculum. The new resource is available to all teachers to download from and includes videos, interactive tools, teacher’s handbook, and links to other resources.

QSC1Last week pupils and teachers were invited to the Microsoft Showcase Classroom in London for a Computing At School workshop ahead of the launch of QuickStart Computing

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

“I am delighted that our world leading computing curriculum has got off to such a strong start.Giving young people a solid grounding in computing from an early age is a key part of our plan for education, ensuring they are prepared to succeed in modern Britain. More than 4 million primary school children have already received computing lessons, which I hope will empower and inspire more young people and open their eyes to the exciting opportunities available.


“QuickStart Computing is an important national programme that will help all computing teachers to confidently plan, teach and assess the new computing curriculum. We value the funding that Microsoft has provided and it’s essential that we work in partnership with industry and teacher networks like Computing At School.”


Michel Van der Bel, CEO, Microsoft UK said:

“There is a moment of magic when you see a young person make something totally unique happen on a screen. Something they had imagined and then made real through code. But to get to that moment we need passionate people who have the right skills and knowledge to help give young people the building blocks they need. Microsoft has provided well over £300,000 for the QuickStart Computing initiative in order to support teachers in creating modern, exciting and engaging lessons that will inspire a new generation of digital stars. These materials are available for free and we urge teachers to visit the QuickStart Computing website today to see how they can start getting even more out of the new curriculum.”

Simon Peyton Jones, Chairman of CAS said:

We should be very proud of our teachers, who are engaging so positively with the new computing, and are now inspiring and exciting children about computing in schools up and down the country. CAS believes in the value of high quality, continuous professional development for teachers, and the role of working groups like CAS in instilling confidence and sharing ideas and best practice. We are delighted that from today we can share QuickStart Computing with all schools and teachers that need it.”


Computing is an essential skill that is needed across all sectors. It’s important that every child is taught computing if they are to make sense of the digital world they’re growing up in and have the best chance of contributing to society in later life. The UKCES predicts (Careers of the Future, Nov 2014) there will be 146,000 job openings in IT between 2012-2022 with jobs commanding an average salary of £38K.

Other key findings include:

· 41% of young people want to learn more computing and report that there isn’t enough taught in school.

· More than 6 in 10 teachers (67%) report that their pupils are interested and engaged in computing

· Nearly a quarter of teachers (24%) had no experience of teaching computing until Sept 2014

· More than half of young people (58%) regularly help their parents use technology

· Despite teachers’ concerns that pupils know more about aspects of computing, more than 4 in 10 young people feel their teachers are more skilled in aspects of computing including programming, building websites, and debugging code.

Brian Lightman, General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders said:

"The new computing curriculum is significantly different to the previous version. It is essential that every computing teacher have access to the training they need to be prepared to teach the new curriculum. The launch of QuickStart Computing is a valuable step in providing additional, free professional development for teachers."

Russel Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said:

“There’s genuine enthusiasm for computing from teachers and students alike. Computing and coding are useful skills for young people and intellectually demanding subjects in their own right. Children who excel with technology in the classroom will have wider horizons. Delivering this vision is daunting however. Secondary teachers will have some students who are pushing the very limits of the subject and primary teachers are now expected to be experts in computing as well as maths, English and science. It's an amazing tribute to their skills but we shouldn't ask them to tackle this alone. And thanks to QuickStart we don't have to.”

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