Google offers internships to new computer science teachers

Computer science graduates on a prestigious teacher recruitment programme will be offered an internship at Google in a bid to tempt them into a career in teaching, it was announced today.

Teach First has teamed up with the tech giant to give new recruits the chance to carry out placements at its London headquarters prior to starting their teacher training.

It is hoped the chance of a short work placement at Google will act as a sufficient draw to graduates to tempt them into a career in teaching, rather than going into industry.

The need for more computer science teachers at both primary and secondary level has substantially increased following the government’s decision to introduce a new computing curriculum for all five- to 14-year-olds last year.

An improving economy coupled with a growing need for graduates in the technology and digital industries has meant recruiting computer science teachers is particularly challenging.

Brett Wigdortz, founder of Teach First, said the move would give teachers the opportunity to see how such companies work, which would better inform their teaching.

“Giving people the chance to experience the workplace makes for better leaders and better teachers,” Mr Wigdortz told TES. “By spending time at Google it will allow teachers to remain on the cutting edge, and it will also be useful for Google as it will allow them to see how teachers work and understand what is going on inside the minds of our kids. So it’s win win.”

Google has pledged £300,000 to Teach First over the next three years, which will be used to provide graduates two-week placements at the computer company over the summer.

Google believes the move will both help broaden teachers’ understanding of the sector, as well as inform its own work in education.

“It is clear there is not the depth of computer science teachers that is needed, and this is part of our effort to help bring in more teachers,” Liz Sproat, Google’s head of education, said.

“We expect the programme to help inform us about what we do, as much as it will help Teach First recruit teachers. We run our teacher training programme, so we would be eager for Teach First recruits to give us feedback on how we can improve our professional development.”

Education secretary Nicky Morgan added: “To achieve educational excellence everywhere we need knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers who inspire their pupils.

“And as our digital economy continues to grow, we want more and more young people leaving schools not just as digital consumers but as digital creators – and businesses need to play their part.”

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