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Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review

We are absolutely delighted that dressCode and our founder Toni Scullion are mentioned in the recent Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review. dressCode is recognised as good practice to help closing the gender gap and Toni has been recommended to “be given a full or part-time role in advising government on Computing Science in-curricular design and extra-curricular support in Scotland”.

Lack of support given to voluntary/extra-curricular organisations
There are several national and local programmes supporting extra-curricular programming
support for children, including Young Engineers and Science Clubs (YESC), CoderDojo, Code Club,
Make it Happen, Prewired, The DataKirk (which supports data literacy for BAME young people),
Digital Skills 4 Girls and dressCode (these last two clubs work to mitigate the horrendous underparticipation of girls in Computing Science). They are mostly volunteer-led and receive a mixture of public and private funding support.” page 27

Rec. 7. School-stage extra-curricular programming clubs should be strategically supported.
The Scottish Government should work with councils across Scotland to create a database of
extra-curricular programming clubs profiled by their geographic and demographic coverage to
identify gaps in provision (and including, for example, by gender, ethnicity, age group and areas
of deprivation). Funding should be increased to existing club networks, such as Young Engineers
and Science Clubs (YESC), CoderDojo, Code Club, Make it Happen, Prewired, The DataKirk, Digital
Skills 4 Girls and dressCode to support the purchase of additional equipment and to cover
operating expenses; two constraints to scaling their current activities.” pg 71

“Rec. 8. Overcoming gender-stereotyping in early years.
We stated earlier in this report that, by the time pupils take the Higher Computing Science
qualification, only 16% of them are female on average; a ratio that worsens as they continue on
through university and into industry. Put simply, gender role stereotyping removes almost half
of our best future engineers. It would be economically and societally beneficial if Scotland was
to lead on addressing this aberration. Gender role stereotyping is established by society during
the primary-school years, and it is here that work should be particularly focussed.

We recommend that the Scottish Government conduct a sustained public information
campaign aimed at countering role stereotyping as it relates to science, Computing Science and
engineering, enlisting role models and others as part of that campaign.

Particular focus should also be given to supporting initiatives, such as dressCode which
encourages school-age girls into programming. An interesting observation: at Higher Computing
Science level, 16% of students are girls, on average across Scotland. In dressCode founder Toni
Scullion’s school, where she first pioneered dressCode, the female intake is more than double
that figure. Ms Scullion could be engaged to consult on how best to scale this support across
Scotland, and perhaps be given a full or part-time role in advising the government on Computing
Science in-curricular design and extra-curricular support in Scotland, given her many other
innovations in promoting general student interest in Computing Science.”pg 71

This report is bold and innovative, we are so excited about this! It is truly wonderful to have been recognised for the hard work we are doing to inspire as many pupils across the country into Computing Science, particularly girls.

Thank you for your kind works Mark Logan!

You can read the full report here.