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Coding lessons 'huge step forward' SP411N

Press Association – 

George Osborne has predicted that the introduction of computer programming to the National Curriculum will be "a huge step forward for our country".

The Chancellor said he wanted young people to learn coding skills so they can build apps and understand how mobile phones and tablets work.

He also claimed that hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created in the future by changing children's attitude to technology as "this is the new economy".

During a debate at Campus Party, a week-long technology festival at the O2 in London, he said: "What we have got to do is get more of the users of technology becoming the producers of technology. I think that is great for their own personal development and hopefully for their own careers and living standards. But it's also important for our country."

He went on: "S omething that has been lost is in school now people learn how to use applications like Word or PowerPoint but, actually, unless they make an effort out of school to learn something about it - or they have an extraordinary teacher who wants to teach them in school - they don't really understand how these things are put together.

"I think that is one of the things that needs to change and in a way get back to what was so exciting at the beginning of the home computer revolution."

He gave his support to a change in how school computers will be used by children.

" I think now we're thinking more about what are you actually teaching on these computers. Of course they are used for lots of mainstream subjects like history or English or maths, but I think the exciting new thing is we're now asking schools to teach coding. From September next year this will be part of the National Curriculum," he said.

Mr Osborne said all children would "understand some of the basics of coding", which could inspire some of them to have a career in the industry.

He added: "Regardless of that, everyone is going to be coming out of our schools with a better understanding of what is behind their smartphone, how the iPad works."


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