As she reports via her tweet, Shirley-Anne Somerville has announced an investment of £1.4m to begin redressing the collapse of Computer Science in Scotland.
The funding will create a new teacher led organization ‘STACS’, to be hosted by the University of Glasgow.
Today @Mark_Logan1 and I hosted a summit to kick-off new work to transform Computing Science in schools. As a first step, we will invest £1.4m to create a new teacher led organisation named STACS, hosted by @UofGlasgow to promote computing science excellence in classrooms.
— Shirley-Anne Somerville (@S_A_Somerville) November 25, 2021
Computer Science in Crisis
It’s clearly a desperately needed change of direction.
The teaching of the core computing skills required is ‘in crisis‘, with enrollment and staff numbers in decline. Professor Bill Buchanan describes how Computer Science is “crashing” out of the curriculum.
Indeed decline is too mild a description for what’s happening, it’s more accurate to say the topic has one foot in the grave, being on a rapid downward trajectory towards complete oblivion:
🚨Did you know in 2001 there were just over 28,000 pupils who picked Computing Science and over 9800 females. As of 2020 there was just over 9800 pupils who picked Computing Science and just over 1800 females.
The subject is in crisis!
— Digital Technology Education Charter (@DTECharter) June 11, 2021
There really isn’t a more stark contrast between our ambition to build a world leading digital nation, and our actual progress towards that goal.
This has been recognized by Mark Logan, former COO for Skyscanner, commissioned by Kate Forbes to define how best to accelerating Scotland’s technology ecosystem, publishing a report identifying how to do so, and regularly commenting that addressing Computer Science education is central to this agenda.
Grass Roots Action Plan
No one is working harder to raise awareness of the issue and champion the collective action to work together to address it.