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Help us, help them – Critical Friends Programme

We’re working with DYW Glasgow and Skills Development Scotland to help computing science teachers across Scotland connect with industry and encourage more young people to take Computer Science as a subject.

We know that a large part of the reason the skills gap in our industry exists is because of the drop of rates throughout school of children and young people taking the subject or having the opportunity to.

We’d like you to become involved and be an industry mentor to computer sciences teachers in secondary schools; let them know what’s happening, where the new technologies are, help them advocate to the SLT’s within their school for more or better funding for their department, and encourage young people into the subject.

You’d be a sounding board, a friend, a guide.  You’ll be willing to take part in catch ups (mostly virtual at present) and maybe present to students about subjects that interest them, showing that tech is an option and one they should be excited to take.  You’ll help your teacher friend become an advocate for new technologies, be a sounding board for questions and point them in the right direction of help, advice and widen their network.

It’s an opportunity for you to share current working practices and help to shape curriculum and teaching methods.

The programme is currently running in Glasgow, and we are recruiting industry mentors for Lanarkshire & East Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde & West Dunbartonshire, and the South of Scotland.

We hope to be able to roll out the initiative nationwide to benefit each region of Scotland.

How will it work?

We match you, or one of your colleagues with a teacher from a school in your chosen region for 12 months based on both your skillsets.

It is up to you both on how to make the most of it.  Within the first couple of weeks we’d like you to have a catch up and get to know each other.

You can then connect flexibly, over coffee, by email and, or phone. You might want to invite your teacher on site visits to your workplace, allowing them to observe your team(s) and provide an insight into the type of projects you’re engaged in. You may also find a visit to their school valuable, finding out more about how classes are taught, the materials available to lecturers and students and gain a deeper understanding of how computing science is taught to students today.

These meetings are your opportunity to find out the challenges and opportunities your partnership represents and engage in discussions about the current curriculum and industry practices, which can then feed directly into the teaching and learning within the school.

Our Coordinator, Nicola Taylor, will check in with you both every two months to see how you are getting on, get a progress report and find out if there is anything else we can do to help you both.

When the twelve months is over, we will ask you both to complete a short evaluation of your experience of the programme, tell us about the impact it has had on your work and let us know what you would change about the experience.

Find out more

If you’re interested in taking part, or just want to find out a bit more, please contact Nicola Taylor on 01506 472200 or

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