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University Steps Up to Educate New Computer Science Teachers for Schools

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A new breed of specialist Computer Science teachers are to be educated at the University of Worcester to tackle a new Government drive in the nation’s schools.

In early 2012, the Department for Education identified the introduction of Computer Science teaching into schools as an official goal, a move supported by technology giants Microsoft and Google.

Computer Science differs from the previously taught Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in that it teaches pupils about the creation of new software, such as mobile apps, rather than merely teaching them how to use existing software.

In response to this change in direction, the University of Worcester, as an outstanding teacher training provider, has been awarded, by the Teaching Agency, 20 new PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) places in Computer Science. The course commences in September 2013.

The course will educate and develop specialist Computer Science teachers who can deliver the Government’s new Computer Science GCSE in schools.

Dr Colin Price, Principal Lecturer in Computing in the University’s Business School, said: “During the early days of ICT, teachers were conscripted in from other disciplines often without additional training. This has resulted in many schools, who are considering introducing Computer Science at GCSE level, struggling with a lack of qualified Computer Science teachers.”

He added: “Computing as a discipline in schools is clearly changing with a focus on development of Computer Science thinking and skills. This will surely better prepare our youngsters for careers in computing as well as giving them a better understanding of the working and power of the ubiquitous computer-based devices which form a fundamental part of their lives.”

Applications are now open for the 12 month PGCE Computer Science course, with a limited number of scholarships available from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

To compliment the PGCE course, an eight week pre-PGCE subject knowledge Computer Science course is available. This course will develop all the essential skills and knowledge needed to begin the PGCE course in September.

Alison Winson, Head of Secondary PGCE at the University of Worcester, said: “We are very excited that the University of Worcester, in conjunction with our partnership schools, will be at the forefront of training outstanding teachers to teach this new cutting edge subject in secondary schools.”

For further information about the course visit the University’s website www.worcester.ac.uk, email secondary@worc.ac.uk or call 01905 855111.