A REGIONAL computing hub has been launched in the North-East to ensure the children of today have the skills to flourish in the careers of tomorrow.

Carmel Education Trust, based at Carmel College, Darlington, will host the centre of excellence which will work with hundreds of teachers across the town, South Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland.

The initiative is one of three hubs in the North-East and 40 nationally which is part of an £84m Government drive to boost computing education, over the next three years.

The hubs are the physical presence of the National Centre for Computing Education using a consortium delivered by STEM Learning, Raspberry Pi Foundation and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

It will target teachers working in primary and secondary schools ensuring children learn from an early age the computing skills they will need for the future.

At the launch, attended by more than 40 teachers and head teachers, CET’s Computing Hub Lead Simon Roberts outlined the benefits to teachers and pupils including increased subject knowledge, training and bursaries.

He said: “Try and find a job today that doesn’t involve a computer; this initiative will improve knowledge and our pupils will benefit from better ways of teaching computing.”

He said the DfE had already identified an 8,000 shortfall in computing teachers and he hoped the project would encourage some existing teachers to retrain as well as attract new blood into the profession.

Director of CET’s Teaching School Monita Atkinson said she was delighted the trust had been chosen as a Computing Hub. She said: “The aim is to improve outcomes for children and the hub will provide teachers with the confidence to equip children with the skills and attributes they will need in the modern world.”

Delegates heard from the Chairman of the National Centre for Computing Education, Simon Peyton-Jones, that computing needed to be a fundamental part of children’s education from primary school age.

He said: “They need to turn from the slaves of technology to its master, from consumers to the creators of computer science. The goal is to provide the resources to make it a vibrant reality for four to 18-year-olds. This will help them thrive in a world of rapid technological change.”