CS in Schools is a free industry-supported digital technology professional development programme for secondary school teachers. We support teachers in the classroom by sharing free and open teaching materials and partnering volunteer computing professionals with teachers.
Learn more about the 2020 programme in this video:
Why do we exist?
There will be over 100,000 new IT jobs created in Australia by 2024, but Australia only has 3,000 to 4,000 university-qualified IT graduates each year. It’s critical for Australia’s future that we address this skills gap.
Digital technology is compulsory in schools in most states at most year levels in Australia. However, a survey of more than 400 Australian schools in August 2019 found that 96% have had difficulty hiring qualified technology teachers and 39% of schools have reduced the amount of technology education they offer. In particular, we’ve found there’s a shortage of teachers who feel qualified to teach coding, and most successful coding classes are run outside of school hours.
We believe that these problems can be addressed through in-class professional development of today’s classroom teachers. We help teachers learn how to code and teach coding to secondary students. We believe that by giving every student the opportunity to code, we’ll increase the pipeline of students who study and work in IT. We also believe that this will improve the diversity of the IT workforce.
What do we do to help?
We’ve built a successful in-class professional development programme for teachers that helps schools build a robust digital technology capability in their students.
We put volunteer computing professionals in the classroom as partners to school teachers for up to six months, and they help teachers build confidence and skills in teaching students to code. CS in Schools provides everything that’s needed for free: the volunteer, the lessons, assignments, a training workshop, an online community, and the software.
Our work with a school teacher is successful when they don’t need us anymore, that is, they feel great about teaching students to code. Usually, this takes half a year for our Year 7 programme, that is, two school terms or one school semester.
We also offer mentoring to teachers who feel they only need out-of-class support. In addition, our materials are available online for teachers who just want to download and use them.
What programmes do we offer?
We have fully launched a programme for Year 7, which is a ten week coding subject. In 2020, we’re also piloting a new Year 8 subject with teachers who are returning to the programme. We will offer Year 9 and Year 10 programmes in the future.
In 2020, we are working with around 60 Australian teachers in around 25 schools to help them successfully teach coding.
If you’re interested in having CS in Schools at your school in 2021, there’s more information here.
What does it cost?
CS in Schools is free to schools or teachers. It is funded by generous donations.
If you’re interested in contributing, you can donate. CS in Schools is part of RMIT University, and RMIT University is a Deductible Gift Recipient. If you’re considering donating to support our work, please contact us.
How do I learn more?
If you’re a school or a teacher, and you want to teach coding, start by visiting our schools page.
If you’re a computing professional, and you’d like to help a teacher in the classroom, start by visiting our volunteers page.
If you’d simply like to learn more, take a look at these resources:
- Download our brochure to learn more about the 2020 programme (PDF, 45Mb)
- Read about our two-day pre-programme workshop for volunteers and teachers
- Catch up on what’s been happening at CS in Schools in our blog
- Take a look around our Year 7 programme by starting with our quick start guide
- Read a longer explanation of our programme
- Learn about the team behind CS in Schools