MP Stephen Metcalfe has written to all schools in South Basildon and East Thurrock to encourage them to take part in Parliament’s ‘Girls Get Coding’, an initiative to inspire young girls to learn computer programming skills.
The initiative provides learning materials for young people aged 10 – 12, teaching them the basics of coding through games and other interactive resources. Schools that take part can nominate a group of girls for a special trip to the Houses of Parliament, where they will get the chance to teach their MP to code too.
Schools that join in will find themselves ahead of the game when the new computing curriculum is introduced in September 2014. Under the new curriculum, children in all age groups will have to learn to code. Girls Get Coding focuses on females, as there is a worrying shortage of women working in the tech sector – only 1 in 5 computer professionals are female.
Mr Metcalfe commented: “I’d love schools in South Basildon and East Thurrock to participate in Girls Get Coding. It’s a great opportunity to learn some programming skills, and particularly for girls to see how much fun it is to learn to code and make a computer do what you want it to. And if one of our schools is selected to come to Westminster, I’ll get the chance to learn to code too!”
“On a more serious note, I am extremely keen to see me more young women fulfilling their potential in science and technology based subjects. It is such an exciting industry and I hope that if selected, this initiative could inspire our next generation of computer scientists.”