BT to go barefoot computing with BCS

BT is to partner with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, in running the Barefoot Computing project, a national scheme to support primary school teachers as they start to teach the new computing curriculum. 

Starting this summer, the project will provide cross-curricular computer science resources aimed at primary schoolteachers who have no previous computer science knowledge. The Barefoot Computing project, which was referenced by Education Secretary Michael Gove in his recent speech at BETT 1, is being run by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, together with CAS 2 , the Computing At School group. 

The new Barefoot Computing resources will help teachers understand ideas and concepts such as algorithms, abstraction and data structures, how they occur naturally in many other disciplines that they also teach, and how they can teach them to children starting from age 5. 

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss says: “I am delighted that BT will be helping BCS support primary schoolteachers through the Barefoot Computing project. 

“By teaching coding and computing to children from age five we are honouring the great legacy of figures like Alan Turing and Tommy Flowers and will be producing the tech entrepreneurs of the future.” 

Bill Mitchell, Director of Education at the Institute, explains “BT have been supporters of CAS for several years. They also have a deep practical understanding of what works in primary schools through a scheme they’ve been running locally in Suffolk. BCS working in partnership with BT will be well placed to provide primary schoolteachers across England with inspirational, creative computer science classroom resources that will also improve students’ attainment in maths, English and other subjects such as history and art.“ 

Pat Hughes, Education Engagement Strategy Manager at BT, adds “Every primary school teacher needs to be able to teach every subject in the curriculum, including the new computing curriculum. At BT we with think it’s important that we do all we can to help primary teachers understand computer science in a primary school context and see how it fits into their cross-curricular environment.” 

Tim Whitley, Managing Director for Research and Innovation at BT says “Through our education engagement work at BT, it has become apparent that primary school children really enjoy computer science and that the thinking skills which underpin this subject can help their school work in other subjects. We are delighted to be partnering with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and are looking forward to seeing the Barefoot Computing project take shape and have real impact in our primary schools.” 


1 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/michael-gove-speaks-about-computing-and-education-technology 
2 http://www.computingatschool.org.uk CAS is a membership organisation within BCS 

About BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT 
Our mission as BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is to enable the information society. We promote wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information technology science and practice. We bring together industry, academics, practitioners and government to share knowledge, promote new thinking, inform the design of new curricula, shape public policy and inform the public. 
Our vision is to be a world-class organisation for IT. Our 75,000 strong membership includes practitioners, businesses, academics and students in the UK and internationally. We deliver a range of professional development tools for practitioners and employees. A leading IT qualification body, we offer a range of widely recognised qualifications. 

About Computing At School 
Computing At School (CAS) is a membership association within BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The Computing at School Working Group (CAS) is a grass roots organisation focused on developing computer science as an inspirational, rigorous school subject. 
CAS has 9,500+ members, with new members currently joining at a rate of over 400/month. Our members include school teachers, university academics, parents, school governors, members of professional societies, and IT professionals. CAS are supported by Microsoft, ARM, Google, Morgan Stanley, Ensoft and a range of other IT employers in the UK.