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UKIE calls for computer science in National Curriculum

Government submission attempts to take pupils out of "quasi-vocational educational ghetto"

Trade body UKIE has called for the British government to include computer science as part of the National Curriculum, arguing that it is vital to the growth of the country's high tech industries - including gaming.

The National Curriculum is currently ongoing a general review, with UKIE today making its own submission arguing that computer science be taught as a standalone subject available to all children from GCSE age onwards.

The current ICT curriculum focuses purely on using existing software packages and does not touch upon software creation or any programming skills.

The submission references the recent Livingstone Hope review, which called for sweeping changes to the way computing subjects are taught in schools. UKIE argues that the current skills gap is a threat to the video games industry and any business which uses computer technology at its core.

"Our children are surrounded by computers at school, in the playground and at home. You would be forgiven for thinking that computers are the one thing that no modern pupil is missing out on," said UKIE board member and Eidos Interactive life president Ian Livingstone.

"But you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, 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," he argued.

"Putting computer science in the National Curriculum will have a powerful effect: it will end the isolation of computers - the defining technological force of the new century - in a strange quasi-vocational educational ghetto, and instead will prepare our pupils for some of the UK's most successful growth industries, especially the digital and creative industries," he added.

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