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Livingstone: UK risks creating "digital illiterates"

Eidos life president explains importance of computer science ahead of government reaction to Livingstone Hope review

Eidos life president Ian Livingstone has warned against the danger of neglecting computer studies in the National Curriculum, ahead of the government's response to the Livingstone Hope review later today.

"The narrowness of how we teach children about computers risks creating a generation of digital illiterates, and starving some of the UK's most successful industries of the talent they need to thrive," Livingstone wrote in a piece published by The Independent.

He points out that industry contributes to the economy to the tune of £2 billion in global sales, but that the education system isn't producing the students needed to keep the industry thriving.

"The National Curriculum requires schools to teach not computer science but ICT - a strange hybrid of desktop-publishing lessons and Microsoft tutorials," he argued.

"Computer science is different. It is a vital, analytical discipline, and a system of logical thinking that is as relevant to the modern world as physics, chemistry or biology."

He also states these skills are "essential knowledge" and the basis for the creation of companies like Google and Zynga, and is also vital to companies like GSK and Rolls-Royce. He added that teachers support the scheme to include computer science in the National Curriculum.

"While I would not expect the Government to go so far as to announce that computer science will be included in the National Curriculum in the near future, I am now hopeful that there has been a realisation that it is essential knowledge for the 21st century."

Today UKIE has launched its Next Gen Skills campaign, which itself is based on the Livingstone Hope review.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.