Graduates Offered £20k To Train As Computer Science Teachers On Facebook And Microsoft Courses

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Top graduates are to be offered up to £20,000 to train as computer science teachers on courses designed with help from Facebook and Microsoft, it was announced on Friday.

Ministers have turned to the social networking giant and other leading technology firms in a bid to improve the quality of computer science teaching in England's schools.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said that current information and communications technology (ICT) teacher training courses will be axed from next year.

Instead, new computer science courses, supported by top technology firms such as Facebook, Microsoft and IBM, will be introduced.

Students who graduate from university with at least a 2:1 degree will be eligible for a scholarship worth £20,000 to train on one of the new courses, which have been set up with the Chartered Institute for IT and the British Computer Society, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

Scholarships will be awarded to candidates who already have a good understanding of computer science concepts such as algorithms, data, networks and the internet.

Around 50 will be handed out in the first year, the DfE said.

Existing ICT teachers will also be trained as experts in computer science.

The Government said the move is part of an attempt to improve the quality of computer science teaching in England's schools.

Gove said: "Computer science is not just a rigorous, fascinating and intellectually challenging subject. It is also vital to our success in the global race.

"If we want our country to produce the next Sir Tim Berners-Lee - creator of the internet - we need the very best computer science teachers in our classrooms. They need to have the right skills and deep subject knowledge to help their pupils."

The ICT curriculum has been scrapped to allow schools to decide what to teach in the subject.

Announcing the move in January, Gove said that ICT in England's schools was a "mess" and must be radically revamped to prepare pupils for the future.

Teachers and industry leaders had described the curriculum as "off-putting, demotivating and dull", he warned.

In a speech, Gove said: "In short, just at the time when technology is bursting with potential, teachers, professionals, employers, universities, parents and pupils are all telling us the same thing. ICT in schools is a mess."

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