Concern over the number of pupils taking computer science GCSE

Figures from Ofqual show only a modest rise in students taking the new computer science GCSE.

According to the British Computing Society (BCS), there is a “very modest” increase in students registered for GCSE computer science to a total of 67,800 year 11 students compared to 61,220 year 11 students in 2016.

It is expected that 90 per cent of all future jobs will require digital skills and it is estimated that the UK will need more than 1.2 million new technical and digitally skilled people by 2022 to satisfy future skills needs, computer science GCSE is one of the key pathways that young people can take.

Bill Mitchell, director of education at BCS, commented: “This is deeply worrying. Computer science was only introduced three years ago and is still a new subject for schools.

“The number of students taking GCSE computer science should be growing very rapidly as schools improve their offering to students and students realise the relevance of the subject for whatever they might be doing in the future.”

Bill continued: “We must ensure that schools are properly equipped to provide the best possible options for students at GCSE and that includes computer science.

“Our view is that will only happen where we make sure teachers are getting the right professional development to make GCSE computer science a success.”

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