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Computer code courses for children target global expansion

A Google-backed London start-up that teaches primary school children computer coding is expanding overseas after being flooded with requests to set up spin-offs across the world.

Code Club is a not-for-profit network of after-school clubs for children aged nine to 11, teaching them how to make basic computer games and web pages.

The Shoreditch-based organisation was founded a year ago by friends Clare Sutcliffe and Linda Sandvik with funding from Google and the microchip maker Arm Holdings, and now has more than 800 volunteer-led clubs up and down the country.

The project has been endorsed by the father of the world wide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, lastminute.com's founders Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox and YouTube's founder, Chad Hurley.

Code Club yesterday announced plans to expand overseas, with the launch of Code Club World. The spin-off organisation will provide a curriculum, volunteering framework and support for foreign clubs.

Ms Sutcliffe, a former web designer, said: "We feel like we've got the model right now in the UK. We've had so much demand from people saying can you help me set up code clubs in my country?"

The first international clubs will be launched in Luxembourg and Kiev.

Patrick Welfringer, who will run the Luxembourg community, said: "It only takes an hour a week with the right curriculum, a teacher and a programmer to make kids code literate."

Course materials will be provided in English but Code Club has signed up volunteers to translate it into other languages.