Games and interactive entertainment trade body, Ukie, has today welcomed having Computer Science accepted as part of the English Baccalaureate, seeing it as another major win in addressing the skills issues faced by the games industry.
Getting computer science on to the E-Bacc was a major recommendation of the Next Gen report co-authored by Ukie Vice-Chair Ian Livingstone and it has been advocated to government by the Ukie funded, cross-industry, Next Gen Skills campaign.
The E-Bacc requires pupils to get good GCSE grades in core subjects – English, Maths, sciences, a humanities and language. This means Computer Science will now be included as one of the science options that count towards this measure. Ukie believes that this makes Computer Science a recognised discipline in its own right, and will transform the status and take up of the subject across the country.
Responding to the news that Computer Science will be considered a subject on the English Baccalaureate, Ian Livingstone CBE, Vice Chair of Ukie and co-chair of Next Gen Skills said:
“Getting Computer Science accepted as a subject on the English Baccalaureate could be transformational. It is a huge victory for the Next Gen Skills campaign and our partners. Computer Science is now officially the 4th science, on a par with the other sciences, and a core subject for children to learn. This will help ensure that this country produces a new generation of digital makers, not just for the games industry, but for all creative and digital industries. The legacy of Alan Turing lives on!”
Dr Jo Twist, CEO of games trade body Ukie, which funded the Next Gen Skills campaign, said:
“This is fantastic news for the games industry. Our Vice Chair Ian Livingstone has worked tirelessly on this and without him spearheading the cross industry Next Gen Skills Campaign, which Ukie members funded, it would never have happened.”
1. Ian Livingstone CBE is one of the UK’s founding fathers of interactive entertainment. In 1975 he co-founded Games Workshop and launched Dungeons & Dragons in Europe. In 1982 he co-designed Fighting Fantasy, and co-wrote The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first in the series that sold in excess of 16 million copies in 25 languages. Following a full listing on the London Stock Exchange in 1995, he served as Executive Chairman of Eidos plc until 2002, and is now Life President. At Eidos he helped to secure many of the company’s major franchises including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. In 2011, he co-authored ‘Next Gen’, transforming the UK into the world’s leading talent hub for video games and visual special effects.
2. Next Gen Skills is a major campaign formed from an alliance between the biggest names from the UK digital, creative and hi-tech industries and the UK’s leading skills and educational bodies to improve the computer programming skills needed for the future growth of our economy.
3. The campaign is funded and led by games and interactive entertainment trade body Ukie (including major international companies with UK interests such as Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA, Activision and SEGA, plus leading UK creative development studios such as Blitz Games Studios, PlayGen and The Creative Assembly). Other supporters include Google, TalkTalk, Facebook, the British Screen Advisory Council, Guardian Media Group, the Design Council, Intellect, IPA, British Computer Society, Abertay University, Creative Skillset, GuildHE, E Skills, the Education Foundation, NESTA and UK Screen (representing some of the world’s leading visual effects businesses, including Oscar winners Double Negative and Framestore). The UK’s digital deficit is set out in NESTA, Next Gen: Transforming the UK into the world’s leading talent hub for the video games and visual effects industries A Review by Ian Livingstone and Alex Hope (2011).www.nesta.org.uk/library/documents/NextGenv32.pdf
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