Counter-terror skills to be taught to pupils

Prof Anthony Glees
Prof Anthony Glees

Children will soon be learning how to protect the UK from cyber terrorism - with the help of a top-secret organisation.

Experts at the Government Communications Headquarters - which provides surveillance of potential enemies - have backed the scheme and will help supply questions for GCSE computer science exams from the summer.

One exam board has already produced a sample question which challenges pupils to come up with a system to stop a thief from using up credit on a mobile phone.

Almost 800 schools have already signed up to it.

Security specialist Anthony Glees, from Buckingham University, thinks it is important youngsters are armed with these kind of skills.

He said: “The next conflict may not just be about bombs and bullets – it will almost certainly involve massive cyber attacks.”

The government will team up with the National Crime Agency to create lesson plans for 14, 15 and 16-year-olds.

However, students aged as young as 13 who show a real aptitude for maths will also be taught the skills.

Experts have already created an app for children which explains encryption techniques.

Chris Ensor, from the Government Communications Headquarters, said: ‘It is vital that we tap into, enthuse and encourage the flourishing talent in our schools.

“We need gifted teenagers like these coming into the cyber security profession.”