I welcome the inclusion of St. Brigid’s Mercy secondary School Tuam in the 40 schools selected nationally to start studying Leaving Certificate Computer Science from September 2018, and will be the first to get an exam in the subject in 2020.

Today’s announcement is one of a range of actions Minister Bruton, on behalf of the partnership Government,is taking in this area, as outlined in the STEM strategy and Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland the best education and training service in Europe by 2026. It also complements other curricular changes we are implementing such as introducing coding and computational thinking as part of the new maths curriculum for primary schools.

Computer Science for Leaving Certificate focuses on how programming and computational thinking can be applied to the solution of problems, and how computing technology impacts the world around us.

Students will learn the following skills:
Computational thinking
How to analyse problems in computational terms
Programming languages and how to read, write, test and modify computer programs
Creative design
Design computational artefacts such as web pages, digital animations, simulations, games, apps and robotic systems
The ethnical, historical, environmental and technological aspects of Computer Science, and how it impacts the social and economic development of society.

The 40 schools announced today will begin studying the subject from this September.

This is a very exciting time for education in Ireland. There is a digital revolution taking place which is having a transformative effect on our economy, workplace, and lifestyle. In order to be the best in Europe, our education system must respond to these changes. The introduction of this new subject will teach our young people flexible, solution orientated thinking. It will teach them to be creative, adaptable learners. It will increase the number of students taking up computing and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) courses and apprenticeships after School leading to a highly-skilled workforce. I am delighted we were able to bring the introduction of this subject forward to this year as I think it is an important and timely addition to our education system.