A technology industry trade body has said the fall in computing science teacher numbers in Scotland is “extremely concerning”.

ScotlandIS has advocated more focus on teaching careers for technology undergraduates as a way of encouraging more computing science teachers to join the workforce.

The cluster management organisation for tech companies north of the border said a ‘holistic’ solution is needed following recent census figures which showed a decline in computing science teachers.

Nicola Taylor, chief operating officer at ScotlandIS said: “With the Scottish tech sector still facing a significant skills challenge, it has never been more important for our schools to have enough computer science teachers. This makes recent census data, showing numbers have dropped to the lowest level on record, extremely concerning.

“While jobs and employability are clearly important reasons why young people should receive a proper tech education, understanding the role technology plays in our everyday lives is going to become more and more important. Whether it’s encountering cyber security threats or identifying AI generated fake news, learning how to spot when technology could be a danger starts at school and specialist teachers are crucial to this process.”

She added: “As with so many structural issues, there is no silver bullet. We need to think differently about how we approach the problem in order to find an effective and holistic solution. Highlighting teaching as a potential pathway to our computer science undergraduates, and doing so from the start of their time in higher education, is one example of how to increase the flow of qualified educators coming into the system.”

New census data has shown that the number of computing studies teachers at secondary schools in Scotland has fallen to a record low.

The latest stats released last week by the Scottish Government reveal that there were 578 computing studies teachers employed in schools across Scotland in 2023.

That is one below the previous lowest figure of 579 in 2019, a drop of 10 compared to 2022 and is the lowest number since records began in 2008.