Computing in class 'needs reboot'

One of the country's top games experts says Britain is missing out on the opportunity to nurture the next creator of Facebook, Twitter or Google because of the way computing is taught in schools.

Writing in The Independent, Ian Livingstone, video games expert and co-founder of the Games Workshop gaming brand, said that the teaching of information and communications technology (ICT) instead of computer science meant that computers were not being used effectively in British schools.

"Computer science is to ICT what writing is to reading," he said. "It is the difference between making an application and using one.

"It is the combination of computer-programming skills and creativity by which world-changing companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Zynga are built."

In 2010, the Culture minister Ed Vaizey commissioned Mr Livingstone and Alex Hope of visual-effects firm Double Negative to produce a "complete bottom-up review of the whole education system relating to games". The report concluded that the visual-effects industry is sourcing talent from overseas because of skills shortages here.

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