Figures released by Ofqual show that the number of year 11 students in the UK taking a GCSE in either computer science or information technology (IT) has fallen despite the 3% increase in the number of students who have registered to take their GCSEs in 2017. The British Computer Society (BCS) has expressed deep concerns about the latest findings, with its director of education Dr. Bill Mitchell saying that they “spell trouble for one of the most important subjects for the nation”. He also said: “We must ensure that schools are properly equipped to provide the best possible options for students at GCSE and that includes computer science.”
The latest findings are sure to prompt concerns about a looming “digital skills crisis” in the UK. In 2016, an inquiry with the science and technology committee at the House of Commons emphasised the exigency of young people acquiring digital skills. The committee also predicted 90% of all future jobs will need digital skills.