Oral Evidence to the House Of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills

This morning, alongside Hugh Milward, Policy Director for Microsoft UK, and Mike Warriner, Engineering Director for Google UK, I gave oral evidence to Baroness Sally Morgan’s Select Committee on Digital Skills.  The session was recorded and starts approximately 1hr 9mins through the following video clip (the first hour of the clip is an earlier evidence session with three other panelists) – http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=15870.

The questions were wide-ranging including such unknowables as “which technology will have the most significance for the UK over the next 15 years?”.  However, there was also significant opportunity  to talk about the importance of the new computing curriculum and other educational areas such as later life apprenticeships, after school clubs and computer science modules for non-specialists at undergrad level.

I have the sense that the Committee understand the importance of the new computing curriculum and, specifically, ensuring that teachers are equipped to deliver the curriculum as a creative, engaging and high-quality experience.

In particular, all three panelists were very strong on the importance of CPD and technical support for teachers.

UKForCE will make a written submission before September 5th  restating and expanding upon some of my oral evidence.

We look forward to seeing the Select Committee’s report to Government in the Spring of 2015.

Chris Mairs is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chair of UKForCE


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Chris Mairs

About Chris Mairs

Chris is Chief Scientist at Metaswitch Networks and is also Chair of Code Club, a Not For Profit organization providing after school clubs in over 2,000 UK primary schools. He is a fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering and in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List was awarded a CBE for services to engineering. Being blind himself, he delivered the 2006 IET/BCS Turing Memorial lecture entitled “Lifestyle Access for the Disabled – adding positive drift to the random walk with technology”. Chris’s 35 year career has been in communications software, working with many of the largest global players in the computer and telecommunications industries, including IBM, Microsoft, AT&T and BT. He has a first class degree in Computer Science from Cambridge University and was one of the founders of Metaswitch, where he spent many years as CTO. He now spends much of his time mentoring UK start-ups around Tech City, where he is also an active early stage investor.