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Livingstone: Govt response to Skills Review delayed for "good reason"

Mon 14 Nov 2011 3:45pm GMT / 10:45am EST / 7:45am PST
Politics

"More positive" reaction expected after PM admits UK must do more to teach programming

It may be well overdue, but Ian Livingstone has revealed that recent developments should mean the formal Government response to his Skills Review will be "more positive" than the industry was "previously expecting".

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, the Eidos life president said: "I can confirm that the delay in the Government's response to Next Gen is for a good reason."

Whilst he would not elaborate further, it is believed that comments made last week by the Prime Minister have given the industry's case renewed momentum in anticipation of the official statement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

"I am now very hopeful of getting a more positive response to the report than we were previously anticipating," said Livingstone, adding that this was "great news" for the industry.

Speaking to the BBC in London's Tech City last week, David Cameron admitted that the Government was "not doing enough to actually teach the next generation of programmers."

This echoed the findings of the Government-backed Livingstone-Hope report on skills in the UK games and visual effects industries, published earlier this year. The report found that the education system was failing to equip new talent with the right skills, and called for computer science to be included in the national curriculum and for teachers to promote the study of art and science together.

The report was given a huge boost in late August when Google chairman Eric Schmidt, during a talk in Scotland, said he was "flabbergasted to learn that today computer science isn't even taught as standard in UK schools", warning that the UK was "throwing away [its] great computer heritage", while stressing the "need to bring art and science back together."

"It's as though he lifted his comments straight from Next Gen," Livingstone commented after the speech.

GamesIndustry.biz understands that several meetings between the UK games industry and Government have taken place in the last week as the official response is finalised.

Amid speculation that it could now come as early as this week, the DCMS would not be drawn. A spokesperson said this afternoon: "We haven't got a fixed date. [But] it shouldn't be too long."

7 Comments

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Absolutely excellent if it goes ahead.
The nobody is allowed to fail British education system is very obviously not fit for purpose. 20% of adults are functionally illiterate.
And there are hundreds of degree "video game" courses whose graduates are unemployable. Whilst there is a shortage of maths and physics graduates.

Maybe the tuition fees will focus the students to do courses that make them employable rather than just spending 3 years on an extension of their hobby.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
I find that people still think that I used to 'play games for a living'
They dont quite understand the skills I had to make useof day in day out while doing the 1st party requirements testing.
Even today in the job I am doing I actually have to write test scripts using a language like phyton to help get the job done.

I would love to get a chance to go in to a school and detail the skills I needed to be effective at what I did and why maths, science and computers are essential to the video game industry.

I wouder how many secondary school level children who play games could write even a basic bug report.

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Antony Cain Lecturer, Wakefield College

263 21 0.1
John:

"I would love to get a chance to go in to a school and detail the skills I needed to be effective at what I did and why maths, science and computers are essential to the video game industry. "

Check http://stemnet.org.uk/

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Harrison Smith Studying Games and Graphics Programming, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

75 4 0.1
Hopefully this passes though over there, and so that it may get into this country as well. As a Uni student (tho in Australia but public schools didn't teach computer science/programming as well) I was frustrated that I didn't learn Java and C programming languages In my final two years of secondary school. Even Alice if you want to take a step back could be taught at a early stage, its just there is so much information and tools out there to teach programming at a basic level so it shouldn't be that much of a difficult task to implement such a course.

Posted:3 years ago

#4

Abbass Hussain International Business Development, AQ Interactive

13 0 0.0
This comes just as "Raspberry Pi" is about to be launched: a great opportunity for the government to get kids programming quickly and cheaply.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
Thanks Antony.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Paul Durrant Director of Business Development, University of Abertay Dundee

6 1 0.2
Good to see this article highlighting both of the Schmidt statements (in common with Livingstone Hope). A lot of the mainstream coverage has focused just on the computer science element and hasn't really known how to cover the "art and science together" challenge. In a blog piece I wrote recently I was reflecting how all 500 or so comments on the BBC website after Schmidt's speech had talked about the comp sci in schools dimension but none about the art and science one. Any positive result will just be the beginning however. For example, Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence has had space for interdisciplinary projects for some time but I don't know of much impact from that opportunity yet. At the end of the day it will still be about empowering and supporting school teachers and their managers to be bold and innovative!

Posted:3 years ago

#7

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