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Coding and Programming Education

Volume 633: debated on Monday 11 December 2017

We are committing £84 million of new funding between 2018 and 2023 to support computing teaching in schools, which will include training up to 8,000 secondary teachers to teach the new computing science GSCE, a national centre for computing education and an online resource for the A-level. That will support schools in delivering the new computing curriculum, which includes coding from key stage 1, and our reformed GCSE and A-level, both of which have a strong focus on programming.

Cornwall is one of the fastest growing areas for tech start-ups in the whole country, and it is vital to address the challenges that we face on rural poverty as we move from a place-based economy to a skills-based economy. Does my right hon. Friend recognise that the secondary schools and the colleges in Cornwall are ready and raring to go to fill those gaps in that growing market in the economy?

We recognise both the challenges and the successes in Cornwall. My hon. Friend, of course, is one of Cornwall’s greatest champions. Cornwall and the Scilly Isles is one of the first areas where we are establishing a skills advisory panel with the local enterprise partnership to bring together local representatives, including local businesses; train providers and colleges; and develop a comprehensive analysis of the area’s skills needs to help ensure that skills provision meets those needs.

The success of T-levels, which will incorporate coding and programming in education, will largely rely on addressing the chronic underfunding of our colleges, so was the Secretary of State disappointed, as Bury College and Holy Cross College in my constituency were, that the Chancellor ignored the pleas to address the great iniquity of post-16 funding? What will the Secretary of State do about it?

Maybe the hon. Gentleman missed the announcement of £500 million of extra funding for technical education post-16.