What's new about computing?
The way information and communication technology (ICT) is taught in schools is changing, with the new computing curriculum focusing more on computer science and creative engagement with technology. This change is fuelling a demand for more teachers to inspire young people and build their understanding of how computers work as well as how to use them.
Miles Berry, principal lecturer in Computing Education at the University of Roehampton, explains more about the new curriculum in this video.
ICT is no longer offered as an initial teacher training (ITT) teaching subject. Instead, you can now apply for a computing or computer science ITT programme. This will give you the tools to embrace the computing curriculum and teach pupils how to apply their knowledge and skills to emerging technologies.
Computing is currently offered as a GCSE in some schools and many more will be offering it as the new curriculum is implemented. This approach to rigorous computing teaching in schools is supported by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, along with Microsoft, Google and Facebook. The new computing GCSE will be regarded as a science alongside physics, chemistry and biology as part of the English Baccalaureate
How do I get into teaching computing?
You will need at least a grade C GCSE in English and maths (or equivalent), plus a degree with strong elements of computer science. However, applicants who don’t have a directly relevant first degree but strong professional experience may also be able to apply.
ITT providers make the final decision on relevant subject knowledge. If your provider feels that you have the right qualities to become a teacher but you need to top up your subject knowledge before you start training, they will talk you through the range of subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses that are available. They will either arrange a placement or help you find a course if they don’t run one internally.
There are a number of different teacher training options available to you, so you can choose the one which most suits your own personal needs.
Anna, a trainee teacher, changed career from IT solutions to pursue the teaching profession. Find out what teacher training can be like for prospective computing teachers in this video.
What financial support is available?
Computing ITT applicants are eligible for a tax-free bursary of up to £20,000, depending on degree class. More information about bursaries can be found on our funding for postgraduate teacher training page
The BCS will award teacher training scholarships of £25,000 tax free for eligible computing trainee teachers. It is looking for outstanding individuals with an enthusiasm to share their knowledge and a passion to inspire others. Find out more and apply on the BCS website
The scholarship will be instead of the standard bursary, but trainees who are not awarded the scholarship will continue to be eligible for the standard bursaries.
A School Direct trainee who spends more than 60 days in a school (or schools) where more than 35% of the pupils are eligible for free school meals will be entitled to a 25% uplift to their original bursary/scholarship.
The final application deadline for BCS scholarships in 2014/15 has now passed. Please visit the BCS website for more information.
We offer an enhanced support programme, Premier Plus, for people interested in teaching computing. If you’re starting your training in the academic year 2014/15, you can receive:
- tailored advice from a dedicated adviser
- access to the school experience programme (SEP)
- invitations to exclusive events for Premier Plus registrants
Register today – It only takes a few minutes.