Two-thirds of teachers 'don't have the skills or tools to teach coding'

Survey finds recent school leavers regret not being taught coding while they were pupils

Martin George

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Two-thirds of teachers feel they cannot effectively teach coding to children aged 8 to 15, according to a new survey.

Coding was added to the national curriculum in 2014, and is expected to be taught to children from the age of 5.

However, a poll of 500 teachers in the state and independent sector, conducted by YouGov for IT consultancy BJSS, found that 67 per cent of teachers throughout Britain feel they cannot effectively teach coding to children aged between 8 and 15 as they do not have the right skills or tools.

Some 83 per cent of teachers thought it was important for the Department for Education to provide better training.

It also found that 39 per cent of teachers said they do not have access to adequate IT and software to teach coding.

Glynn Robinson, managing director of BJSS, said: “To safeguard the UK’s digital competitiveness, it is crucial that primary and secondary school teachers are properly equipped and resourced to teach the digital and coding skills that will be required by the time today’s schoolchildren enter the workforce.”

A spokesperson for the DfE said: “Coding is an important life skill and forms an important element of the computing curriculum and we want to make sure that all teachers should have the knowledge and confidence to teach it effectively.

“Since 2012, the department has pledged £5 million to the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science programme run by Computing at School, which has built a national network of nearly 400 specialists Master Teachers schools can commission to provide bespoke training for their teachers”

He added that a further £1 million had been given to Computing at School to create free online resources for primary school teachers who lack the specialist computer science subject knowledge required to teach the new curriculum.

Meanwhile, a separate YouGov survey for Sam Labs revealed how much importance parents attach to coding.

The poll of 2,102 adults in the UK found that 52 per cent of primary and secondary parents agreed that basic coding should be taught before children leave secondary school.

And 38 per cent of primary, and 39 per cent of secondary parents, thought coding was more important than art.

It also found that 70 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds wished they had received coding lessons while they were at school.

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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