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Government urged to act over computer science GCSEs

Government urged to act over computer science GCSEs

Technology
More than half of England's secondary schools, 54%, did not offer GCSE computer science in 2015-16, a report from the Royal Society has found.It urged the government to increase spending on computer education tenfold over the next five years to ensure youngsters can "unlock the full potential of new technologies".The biggest issue was the lack of skilled teachers, the report found.The Department for Education said more pupils were choosing the subject."We want to ensure our future workforce has the skills we need to drive the future productivity and economy of this country and that is why the government made computing a compulsory part of the national curriculum," said a spokesperson."Computer science GCSE entries continue to rise more quickly than any other subject. "We recently saw an in...
Science funding: Will 'picking winners' work?

Science funding: Will 'picking winners' work?

Science
An ambitious Conservative minister has set out a strategy to turn the UK's scientific expertise into new products and services that will generate jobs and wealth for the economy. That was in 1983. The minister was Kenneth Clarke, who launched the £350m Alvey programme. It was designed to propel Britain to the forefront of advanced computing. But the policy of government subsidies for the research and development of favoured companies - known as "picking winners" - did not fit in with Margaret Thatcher's policy of introducing free market principles to the economy. Five years after its inception, the government pulled the plug on the Alvey programme.Thirty five years on, another Mr Clark, the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, announced £140m to support collaboration between industry and academ...