Become a teacher: Help nuture the next generation of computer scientists

Teaching can be a rewarding career for graduates, says Glynis Kozma

Later this year, law graduate Liz English will leave her company and begin training to be a teacher. Why would English, a litigation support manager, decide to become a computer science teacher? "Teaching is a worthwhile profession nowadays for graduates, and offers opportunities for leadership," she explained.

There has never been a better time to train as a computer science teacher, with scholarships, bursaries, several training options, support and mentoring all available as part of the Government's overhaul of computer science teaching. ICT is out; in its place is a rigorous computer science curriculum. Companies such as Google, IBM and Microsoft are working with the British Computer Society (BCS) to help raise teaching standards. Cambridge, Imperial and Manchester universities are also involved in the process.

There is a range of financial incentives to encourage new teachers: scholarships funded by the BCS; bursaries; loans; and decent salaries for trainee teachers. These ensure that teacher training is no longer the poor relation when compared with other graduate training schemes, with BCS scholarships and government bursaries worth up to £20,000, and even £25,000 in some schools.

There are two routes into initial teacher training (ITT): be employed directly by a school, or study for a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) through a university. Graduates are awarded qualified teacher status, and in many cases a PGCE, depending on the course.

The Schools Direct training programme offers training in a school. Graduates who have three years' work experience can be eligible for an unqualified teacher's salary of between £15,817 and £25,076. Others can get a bursaries ranging from £12,000 to £20,000 depending on their degrees. A 2:2 is the minimum requirement. Maintenance loans are available, but tuition fees for a PGCE course are paid directly to universities. Visit education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching for full details.

Training takes a year, although part-time training over two years is also an option.

School-based training is offered by the Teach First charity on its two-year Leadership Development programme. Their training is a fast track for highly qualified graduates who have leadership potential. Entry requirements include a minimum of a 2:1 degree, and training begins in June for six weeks, followed by two years in a school in a low-income community in England or Wales.

An unqualified teacher's salary is paid during year one, and a newly qualified teacher's (NQT) salary during year two. Professional development, coaching and networking within the industry is provided.

Universities offer PGCE courses which include a teaching placement alongside lectures. Oxford Brookes University offers a PGCE in computer science and a postgraduate diploma for current teachers who have experience in teaching ICT, but want to be able to teach computer science.

That's the training – what about the rewards? Salaries range from £21,558-£31,562 on the main scale, with starting salary depending on previous experience. For advanced skills teachers, the range is £37,461-£56,950. Schools have been given more discretion in awarding salaries to retain successful teachers, so progression from the main scale to the higher scale can be quicker than it might have been previously.

With support from top universities and industry, computer science teaching has become an exciting option for graduates.

Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Software Developer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Junior Software Deve...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn