Eidos boss hoping for ‘door to curriculum reform’ from UK government today

Monday, 28th November 2011 09:16 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Eidos head Ian Livingstone is hoping to see a message from the UK government that it’s listening to calls for an adoption of computer science as a compulsory subject in schools, speaking in the Independent this morning.

The British government is to publish an official response to Livingstone’s Next Gen report today – published this year as a review of skills necessary for the video games and visual effects industries – which recommended the discipline should be automatically taught to British children.

While he is realistic about the possibility of computer science being adopted by the national curriculum, Livingstone is “hopeful that there has been a realisation that it is essential knowledge for the 21st Century. It would be very encouraging if a door at the Department for Education would now open to lead to curriculum reform.”

Livingstone reiterated this morning that he believes computer science is “essential knowledge” for current learners.

“Teachers I’ve talked to since Next Gen’s publication mostly agree with our findings, saying they too are frustrated by the narrowness of ICT,” he said.

“Recommendation 1 is to bring computer science into the National Curriculum as an essential discipline; Recommendation 5 is to include art and computer science in the English Baccalaureate.”

Livingstone warned that a lack of directed computer education in the UK will lead to a generation of application “readers” as opposed to “writers”.

“There are computers in our classrooms but, for the most part, they are not used effectively,” he said. “The National Curriculum requires schools to teach not computer science but ICT – a strange hybrid of desktop-publishing lessons and Microsoft tutorials. While Word and Excel are useful vocational skills, they are never going to equip anybody for a career in video games or visual effects.”

Google, Microsoft, Intellect, the IPA, Talk Talk, the British Computing Society, the British Screen Advisory Council, NESTA, UKIE, Skillset, E Skills “and others” have now formed a “cross-sector coalition” to lobby Government on the matter.



  1. Gurdil

    Hum… I don’t get it. Do british students get a taste of every job before college? I mean they’re saying how british students aren’t all prepared to work in the games industry but I’d assume they’re equally unprepared to be a plumber or a car designer, right? BTW that’s not a taunt, that’s a genuine question cause I know british school is a lot different from the french system (where we don’t even have ICT)

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    I think he’s saying British students aren’t adequately prepared to work with computers at all. It’s not just about games, really.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    I think Mr Livingston is missing the point. The Computers in class rooms are probably low budget machines just about able to run certain times of software. I’m sure if you look around, people will find that their misses vibrator can generate more power.

    This kind of thing costs alot of money plus add in the costs of licencing the software so instead of jumping on his soap box, he should explore ways to help the future generation.

    But first, we need to have the dev studios to allow school kids to train/get some experience and with more and more closing down or moving abroad, it wont be easy.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Gurdil

    @Pat Oh ok my bad. I agree with him then, it should be compulsary (even if, let’s face it, most kids would be waaaay better than their teachers with computers if they don’t hire specialist teachers)

    #4 3 years ago


    Since when has Ian Livingstone been head of Eidos??

    #5 3 years ago

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