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Education in the Media: Thursday 8 November 2018

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Computer sciences, Teacher workload


Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at our ambition to reduce teacher workload, as well as positive news on the National Centre for Computing Education project.

Teacher Workload

Today, Thursday 8 November, the Varkey Foundation has published its Global Teacher Status Index. This index looks at teacher workload in the context of hours worked per week, and also at public perception of teachers’ working hours and salaries. This received coverage from BBC News Online, the Independent and the Mirror.

On Monday 5 November, the Education Secretary wrote a joint letter to all school leaders in which he spoke of his commitment to tackle the issue of teacher workload, by eradicating unnecessary marking and admin among other tasks.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The Education Secretary has made it a priority to cut unnecessary workload to make sure teachers are teaching rather than spending time inputting data into spreadsheets.

We have already taken a series of measures to help teachers’ work-life balance, including the creation of a workload reduction toolkit developed by the profession. Earlier this week the Education Secretary sent a joint letter to head teachers, supported by organisations such as Ofsted, and working with the sector committing to cutting the collection of unnecessary data.

You can read more on the Education Secretary’s letter to school leaders here.

National Centre for Computing Education

Yesterday, Wednesday 7 November, we revealed that a consortium has been chosen to provide the National Centre for Computing Education project. This was covered by TES, Schools Week and received further coverage and backing across social media.


Backed by £84 million in government investment, a consortium made up of STEM Learning, the British Computing Society and the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been chosen to deliver this project. The Centre will work with the University of Cambridge, whilst Google will also support the project with an additional £1 million in funding.

The Centre aims to improve teaching and participation in computer science at GCSE and A Level by engaging with schools across the country. It will operate virtually and provide training and resources to primary and secondary schools, including a training programme for secondary teachers without a post A Level qualification in computer science.

Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:

As our digital industry makes an increasingly significant contribution to our economy, it is important that our computer science teachers are trained to teach the latest digital skills, ensuring young people benefit from a high quality computing education.

The new computer science GCSE has more challenging content such as computer programming and coding. This new National Centre for Computing Education, led by some of the UK’s leading tech experts, will give teachers the subject knowledge and support they need to teach pupils the new computing curriculum. This is part of this Government’s drive to raise academic standards so that pupils have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in our outward looking and dynamic economy.

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