The lack of computing science taught in primary and early secondary, a dearth of computing teachers and a course that is seen as “among the toughest” have all contributed to a huge drop in Higher computing entries this year, say teachers.
Yesterday, Tes Scotland revealed that entries for Higher computing science had fallen by 21 per cent since last year.
The drop comes amid calls from Scotland’s technology industry for the education system to produce more young people with an interest in areas like software and web development.
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Polly Purvis, chief executive of industry body ScotlandIS, recently said that Scottish technology companies needed around 12,500 people every year, but only around 5,000 were produced from the usual sources, such as college, university and apprenticeships.
Computing science 'lacks basic infrastructure'
However, one computing teacher said he was “sick” of hearing about how important computing science was for the future when no effort was being made to sort out “the basic infrastructure” in schools.
Many colleagues being asked to teach either N5 or H, try to teach both at same time. I'm sick of hearing how important CS for future jobs/new business when we are not acting at gross roots and sorting the basic infrastructure from early primary onwards.— Mr Brown (@InvernessHighCS) August 6, 2019
Other teachers said the drop could have been predicted given the failure to get that "basic infrastructure" right.
Very worrying but not unexpected. Despite years of warnings this is a toxic combination of a lack of staff, limited BGE exposure and plain daft decisions by secondary schools that have done nothing to support subject & staff. Classes of 30 anyone? 😬— M J Tennant 🇪🇺 (@markjtennant) August 6, 2019
Another common concern among teachers was that the subject was viewed by pupils as too hard.
Absolutely agree. I remember I wrote this down on my notes. Many questions were ONLY targeted for A pass students.— Shona Watson (@Ms__SWatson) August 7, 2019