According to this BBC News report on the eve of this year's BETT, a Microsoft spokesman has declared that 'all children should learn computer science at primary school'. No surprise there I suppose, but the bit of the report that disturbed me just a little, was the section on reasons for doing it. According to Microsoft, we should be teaching programming because 'introducing children to the basics of the subject at primary school, will help inspire more pupils to take it to degree level and ultimately the world of work' (sorry, my italics). So, serving the job market in ten years time is the reason primary children should be getting their head around algorithms and loops and feedback? At least, that's what Microsoft thinks.
Tony Pickford is a tutor and writer on primary education.