National movement launched to ‘drive change’ in computing science at Scottish schools
A national movement to inspire and support the next generation of computing scientists in Scotland’s schools has been launched today by a team of teachers and industry leaders.
The Digital Technology Education Charter aims to encourage pupils to choose computing science where it is available to them as an option and raise awareness of the ‘diverse career opportunities’ available to young people in the Scottish tech sector.
It was created in response to the declining uptake of computing science as a school subject and the sharp drop in the number of computing studies teachers, which means many Scottish schools no longer offer the subject.
The charter, which was launched by DressCode – an initiative that encourages girls into the male-dominated subject – also aims to bring together schools, industry, academia, and other stakeholders to identify what can be done to increase the student uptake in computing science.
Toni Scullion, a computing science teacher, founder of DressCode and driving force behind the new charter, says it was former Skyscanner chief operating officer Mark Logan’s Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review that had inspired it.
In his report, Logan, who now teaches computing science at the University of Glasgow, highlighted a number of challenges Scotland faces with regards to the subject at schools and ‘put education at the heart of the solution.’
Scullion said: “It has been well documented that computing science at schools in Scotland has been dramatically declining over the years. At the turn of this century around 20,000 pupils were studying the subject at secondary level but this has dropped to barely 10,000 and with the proportion of girls remaining more or less static at around 20 percent.
“We know that we need to inspire pupils into the subject at an early age. We do not have enough pupils coming through and if we don’t do something at school level we are not going to have a talent pool so you won’t have Scottish kids coming up through the system, creating their own companies, investing back into Scotland, and creating revenue.
“Computing science is integral to every single industry, so we need to solve this problem. We have got the talent in Scotland, we have the energy and will for change amongst computing science teachers community, industry and organisations. We have the global brands, we just need to pull it together and I hope that this charter will help build the bridge between industry and education and ultimately play a big role in inspiring the next generation into computing science. “
The Digital Technology Education Charter’s new site reads: “This charter is for individuals, schools, colleges, universities, and organisations of all sizes from all sectors. If you want to do more to help inspire the next generation and encourage them to choose computing science then join our charter. Together we can do more, we can make a difference.”
The charter’s team includes a variety of leaders from industry as well as computing science teachers who want the subject to ‘thrive in all Scottish schools and see more pupils ultimately ending up in the tech sector in Scotland.’
For more information visit the website here.