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UK Government 'Not Doing Enough' For Programming Education, Says Prime Minister
UK Government 'Not Doing Enough' For Programming Education, Says Prime Minister
November 11, 2011 | By Mike Rose

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the British Government is currently "not doing enough to actually teach the next generation of programmers."

As part of an interview given at a Tech City event, the Prime Minister explained that comments from UK businesses had highlighted the need for people who can create new programmes.

He said that these comments were a "wake up call for our education system," and that the Government plans to act to solve the situation and introduce better computer science education.

Games and interactive entertainment trade body UKIE welcomed the Prime Minister's comments, adding its voice to the call for computer science to be added to the national curriculum.

UKIE chairman Andy Payne said, "UKIE is delighted to hear the Prime Minister acknowledge the need for more computer programmers."

"This is something UKIE has been calling for for some time, and we look forward to the Government response to the Livingstone Hope Skills Review."

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Robert Hewson
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Good news if they actually follow through!

Christopher Enderle
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Maybe there would be more programmers if more people could afford to get an education.

Richard Thomson
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I would have hoped at least developers could look at the figures involved in the new student funding system and see that actually it works out as cheaper for most students than it was under the current system.

Under the old system you start paying my loan off once you earn 15k and pay 9% of your earnings over 15k.

Whereas under the new system you start paying at 21k and pay back 9% of your earnings over 21k

Here's a table of those repayments

Pay Old New

15,000.00 0.00 0.00

20,000.00 37.50 0.00

25,000.00 75.00 30.00

30,000.00 112.50 67.50

35,000.00 150.00 105.00

40,000.00 187.50 142.50

45,000.00 225.00 180.00

50,000.00 262.50 217.50

55,000.00 300.00 255.00

60,000.00 337.50 292.50

200,000.00 1,387.50 1,342.50

As you can see at no point under the new system (even when on 200k a year) do you pay back more a month than under the old one.

So if you look at the numbers its fairly clear, despite what the papers and opposition say, that the new system is better for students than the old one and of course with both systems you don't pay until after uni so anyone can afford to go, they just have to pay it back if they earn more than the median national wage (20,801).

If you can find a flaw in my analysis please speak up but if not, please remember in future to take everything that is said in the press with a rather large pinch of salt and to maybe do the analysis yourself before you believe it.

Mike Reddy
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Programming != Computer Science

Too few Educationalists have been involved in this initiative. I've said it before, loudly and publically that the NextGen movement has actively refused our input, so it's really no surprise that Gove et al have not risen to the bait; the UK Gov Education Department has refused to comment on, or endorse the Livingstone-Hope Review. I agree with many of the sentiments, but not the motives or the implications of yet another group smartly coming in to tell teachers they're failing and their job. Livingstone himself has exhibited a cavalier attitude when criticised over the lack of educational input into this process; most disgustingly at the Develop/Games:EDU conference in Brighton this year. Until this movement ceases to be about us WITHOUT us it is likely our Government will carefully remain uncommitted. Game Dev teachers and IT educators in schools need resources, recognition and support, NOT another underfunded curriculum.

P.S. programming is always emphasised as if it is ubiquitous with Computer Science, but Algorithms+Data=Programs and Computer Science is as much about Computers as Astronomy is about Telescopes.