The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment has called on the UK government's National Curriculum Review to add computer science as a standalone subject taught to teenagers in schools.
UKIE, which represents the gaming and interactive entertainment industry in the country, says that while digital devices and software are now an intrinsic part of modern life, computer science has not been added to the National Curriculum -- the standardized lessons taught in state schools across the UK.
The trade body group argues that computer science is "the most important skill required to create the devices and software of the future", and provides "essential knowledge alongside other STEM subjects such as maths and physics, of huge benefit to wider industry."
It points to a recent "Next Gen" report
published by Eidos Life president (and UKIE non-executive director) Ian Livingstone and Double Negative co-founder Alex Hope calling on the National Curriculum to add computer science for students aged 14 years old and up.
UKIE warns that refusing to add the subject to the National Curriculum could damage not just the local games industry but also businesses centered around computer technology. It notes that technology and content industries contribute over £100 billion ($163 billion) to the UK's economy.
The group also says the current information and communication technologies curriculum does not encompass computer science, claiming that it focuses on using existing software packages and not creating them.
"The UK has a heritage in developing video games that we can be very proud of," says UKIE's director general Michael Rawlinson. However, if we are to continue to produce world-class interactive entertainment we need to ensure that we have a world-class work force to produce it."
He adds, "One of UKIE's key goals is to promote a skills and education agenda that will ensure that the right people have the right skills to succeed in the games industry. Having computer science introduced onto the National Curriculum would be big step towards achieving this goal and will have a positive impact on the many other industries that have computer technology at their core."