Computer programming should become ‘the new Latin’

Charles Armstrong – a government technology advisor – has thrown his weight behind the snowballing campaign to upgrade the teaching of ICT (information and communications technology) in our schools.

“ICT in schools has become simply an exercise teaching how to use mainstream software. All of our children should be, at least, given the opportunity to learn how to code from an early age,” said Mr Armstrong – who addressed the London Policy Conference on how to nurture the capital’s technological entrepreneurs last week.

“Computer programming is like music and every child will benefit in some way from being taught the basics at an early age,” said Mr Armstrong – who is the CEO of Trampoline Systems.

Two of the UK’s leaders of the computer gaming industry – Ian Livingstone and Alex Hope – have penned a report that calls for the UK to transform itself into the “world’s leading talent hub for the video games and visual effects industries” and include computer science in the national curriculum.

Their campaign has been joined by Google, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Sega, Electronic Arts, Activision, Talk Talk and the Guardian Media Group

A report from the schools inspectorate Ofsted published this week states that ICT teaching in two thirds of English secondary schools was sub-standard and required serious improvement.

Charles Armstrong is a social scientist and entrepreneur based in London who has advised government on entrepreneurship, innovation and technology policy since February 2011.

Trampoline Systems have produced ‘Tech City Map’ which is a project analysing the East London technology ecosystem that was launched by David Cameron last month.