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27th March 2015 at 00:00

Reboot computer science - before we crash

We welcome the honesty in Education Scotland's newly launched Building Society report ("Reboot education to secure economic future, report says", TESS, 13 March). The body's findings on the major issues facing computing science education in Scotland (bit.lyScotTech) are a good match with our own here at Computing at School Scotland. Having been ahead of most other countries, we are in danger of losing it all. Our organisation has identified the following key structural issues:

The number of computing science teachers in our school system is in crisis: 109 teachers have been lost over the past two years and 12 per cent of schools have no teacher qualified in the subject.

In the majority of Scottish schools, computer science is given less time in S1-S3 than all the other subjects. Like the other sciences it is a rigorous academic discipline, and students need time to develop the necessary intellectual skills for the subject.

We are greatly concerned about the increase in computer science class sizes. This degrades young people's educational experience.

We also have concerns about the small number of PGDE computer science students, and the lack of development in the subject in primary and early years.

We are pleased that the Building Society report highlights as a priority the need to re-establish lost computer science provision. As the report says: "Computing science offers too important an experience for it to be left to chance whether it features in a secondary school curriculum or not." We look forward to working with Education Scotland, the Scottish government, local authorities and schools to re-establish our world-leading position in computing science education.

Computing at School Scotland

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Letters for publication in TESS should arrive by 10am Monday. Send your letters, ideally of no more than 250 words in length, including contact address and phone number, by email to scotletters@tesglobal.com or by post to TES Scotland, Thistle House, 21-23 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DF. Letters may be edited

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