Foundation

CS In Schools

Helping teachers teach coding for free.
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”The biggest impact is that CS in Schools is now a normal and natural part of what we do and who we are. The language of coding, the technical and interpersonal skillsets being developed, the ways of thinking (systems, design, computational) are now embedded into the fabric of who we are and what we do.” 

We believe our future success as a nation will depend on Australians continuing to grow, nurture and develop the next generation of technology businesses.

In Australia, we have a huge and growing problem – not enough students are graduating with digitech skills from our schools and universities – it’s estimated there will be more than 100,000 new IT jobs in Australia by 2024, but there are currently only around 7,000 students graduating with IT degrees each year. The current digitech workforce also skews heavily male – it is estimated that this could be as high as 85% at present.

How can we maintain let alone grow our technology capability with such a dramatic gap between these two numbers? How can we ensure more women see and take on a future career in digitech?

Meet CS In Schools

Free and open teaching materials and platform for teachers to learn and to teach coding in classrooms.

Changemaker Leadership

CS in Schools was founded by one of Australia’s best tech minds, Hugh Williams, in collaboration with Selina Williams and Kristy Kendall.

Hugh brings his experience from Microsoft, Google, eBay and more to fulfill CS in Schools’s bold mission – “to build a stronger Australian economy by growing the digital workforce”. Kristy is the principal of Toorak College, an all girls schools with a passion for ensuring young women are well prepared to make the most of the future world. Selina has run a number of businesses and has a deep passion with addressing the significant gender disparity in the digitech workforce.

CS In School’s vision and focus are to grow the pipeline of IT professionals by providing an engaging DigiTech pathway for students, supported by world-class professional development for teachers.

Making materials free ensures the program is delivered in regional and lower socio-economic schools. This also reflects Hugh’s deeper personal experience and passion having grown up in Gippsland, Victoria, where students are currently more than twice as likely not to go to university than students in the rest of the state.

The huge gender imbalance needs addressing now, and while it is no doubt on industry leaders to enable this, CS is attacking the problem too – more girls need to be educated in digitech skills, and so CS at every point in time is prioritising their impact and delivery to high school girls.

Exponential Scale

In 2019, when the TDM Foundation started supporting CS in Schools, they were working with 8 schools, 10 teachers and 841 students. Their objective was to double the number of schools they were working with every year. Fast forward to the end of 2023 and CS in Schools is now working with 225 schools, 682 teachers and 53,000 students.

It is on track to reach half of Australia’s 2,700 secondary schools and over 200,000 students by 2025. 

They have been able to double the number of students they reach every year while increasing the percentage of girls who participate. 

While delivering in this scale they have also been able to ensure more girls than boys participate in the program. They have been able to double the number of students they reach every year while increasing the percentage of girls who participate.

This scale is unprecedented in the country and will be a critical ingredient in ensuring more students take digtech through to year 12 and beyond. If but a fraction of the students go on to graduate with digitech qualifications, CS in Schools will have gone a long way to addressing Australia’s digital skills shortage.

Novel Approach  

Secondary school students are not being effectively engaged in digitech learning. For many students, there is a lack of understanding about what Computer Science is, and why and how it is relevant to their futures.

A major contributing factor in this lack of understanding is that many schools do not have the resources to create a domain expertise. This is particularly the case in years 7 to 10 where dedicated teachers with deep expertise might not be available to teach these courses.

To help alleviate the shortage of technology teachers and cost of creating in-school domain expertise, CS In Schools develops all the teaching materials as well as brings industry experts into the classroom to help teach the class and work one-on-one with the students.

Developing teacher skills also means the change CS in Schools is creating sticks. If teachers are upskilled, have access to world leading teaching resources, then it is more likely students will be excited about future career opportunities.

The risk of a digital enabled workforce is that those without access to high quality education will only fall further behind.

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We are incredibly proud to support CS in Schools and cannot wait to help them grow and succeed
Read more about their impact in our annual report [linked]

We are incredibly proud to support CS in Schools and cannot wait to help them grow and succeed 

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