Supply teachers being ignored in the computing curriculum skills gap

Two years after the UK national curriculum required computing to be taught in schools from the ages of five to 16, it has been revealed that teachers are struggling to deliver the subject. And supply teachers are at risk of falling even further behind their permanent counterparts, warns supply teacher agency PK education.

With 53%* of teachers thinking of quitting in the next couple of years and many off sick with stress because of increasing workload, supply teachers are filling an increasingly important role in schools throughout the UK.

Lee Carpenter, director of PK education explained: “There’s clearly a gap in training that both schools and supply teacher agencies need to fill quickly or we run the risk of supply staff not being able to do the job. Supply teachers want to be the best they can and it’s important that we help them do this by giving them the opportunity to take part in training.”

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Dr Bill Mitchell, head of the British Computing Society (BCS), believes it could be another five years before teachers feel confident enough to successfully teach computing science.

To ensure its staff don’t fall behind with the computing curriculum, PK education has recently joined forces with Samsung Digital Academy to deliver free training to supply teachers. Its new computing workshop has been the most heavily subscribed ever.

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Lee Carpenter

Lee added: “We run a number of free half day practical workshops during school holiday time on subjects like e-safety, first aid and computing. Without fail the computing workshops are fully booked within days of being announced.”

Supply teachers interested in attending one of PK education’s free computing workshops in Newcastle, Sheffield, Nottingham or Birmingham can register their interest by emailing

Or, if you’re unable to attend a workshop then read PK education’s top tips on teaching the computing curriculum courtesy of Rob Whitehouse, Samsung Digital Academy e-Learning Specialist at