How Code Club is run and our relationship with our funders

Yesterday Linda Sandvik resigned from the Code Club board. As a co-founder of Code Club and early contributor to the organisation we all owe Linda a big thank you and wish her the best of luck in her next endeavour.

As an independent, non-political organisation, we remain totally committed to Code Club’s core aim to give every child in the UK the chance to learn to code, which we will continue to push forward with the support of our amazing volunteers and supporters.

For more information on our company structure, how we operate and our funders, please see below.

Code Club Family

Code Club UK, Code Club Pro and Code Club World are all part of the same family and operate through Code Club World Limited (Company Number: 08140247). We have the umbrella aim of giving all children the opportunity to learn to code.

Corporate Governance

Our structure and funding

We are an independent body, a registered not-for-profit and a company limited by guarantee. This means we don’t earn profits for ourselves. Instead, all of the money earned by or donated to us is used in pursuing our objective: ‘to give every child in the UK the chance to learn to code.’

Our objectives are set out in our ‘Articles of Association’. These articles, to which all of our directors are bound, define how we run Code Club.

We are governed by our Board of Directors, who have been appointed to jointly govern the activities of Code Club. The Board is responsible for policy development, partnerships, for the conduct of our finances, and for monitoring our performance against agreed targets. We operate in a democratic way, and all of our ‘big’ decisions are made by board consensus. Our board meet monthly to discuss Code Club’s core activities, growth, partnerships and to make important decisions that require board approval. We have three directors:

Chris Mairs, CBE – Chief Scientist at Metaswitch Networks and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (Chair and Director)
Lance Howarth – CEO of Raspberry Pi Foundation (Director)
Clare Sutcliffe – CEO of Code Club World (Director)

Our directors have a duty to work towards our objectives and always act in the best interests of Code Club. More specifically, this means our directors must act within their powers, and have a duty to promote the success of Code Club, to exercise independent judgment, to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence, to avoid conflicts of interest, not to accept benefits from third parties and to declare any interest in a proposed transaction or arrangement. For a fuller explanation, please see the Companies Act here.

Our CEO, Clare Sutcliffe, is appointed by and is accountable to the Board. Her role is to provide day-to-day leadership of Code Club and its initiatives in line with the Board’s strategic direction.

Funders

Code Club receive funding from different organisations who support our core aims. However, we are an independent, non-political organisation. All of our views are our own and are neither directed nor constrained by our sponsors. Our sponsors do not influence how Code Club runs as an organisation and have no hand in its management.

We are funded through a number of channels, including:

• grants from The Centre for Social Action and Innovation, Nominet Trust and Google Rise
• corporate donations including from ARM, Canary Wharf Group, Google, Postcode Anywhere, Samsung and TalkTalk
• the Department for Education

In the future, we hope some of our funding will be self-generated through Code Club Pro.

We are not under any obligation to endorse any of the products or services of our corporate funders. Where we make recommendations, they are based on merit alone. To that end, Code Club produces unbranded, open-source materials in which children are never purposefully exposed to the names of any of our corporate partners.

Code Club continue to be grateful for the support we have been given from our partners and supporters – without them we couldn’t continue to offer free after school clubs, improve the quality of our materials or support our growing volunteer network.

Volunteers

We currently have around 2000 amazing volunteers who give their time to to run a Code Club on a regular basis. Many of these have also come on board to help train teachers through Code Club Pro. These people are crucial in helping us give children all over the UK the opportunity to learn how to code.

The majority of Code Club’s work is in supporting and growing this amazing community of people. The views of our volunteers are not our own and vice-versa.

Crowdfund hardware for your Code Club!

Ever wished your Code Club could have a go at programming hardware and playing with electronics? Well now they can! Obviously we don’t have the funds to buy hardware for the 2100 Code Clubs that exist but we can certainly give you the tools to raise that money yourself.

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We’ve teamed up with Hubbub to create a platform that helps you raise money to buy hardware for your Code Club. You can read about it in a lot more detail here where we have recommended hardware and have some further notes on how to get the word out about your campaign. Good luck!

 

Why we code and why we teach it

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This year is the start of something special in education: computers are starting to be seen as an opportunity, not just a smarter typewriter. Since the new computing curriculum was announced last year, there has been renewed interest in teaching children how to program computers and not just use them to run applications.

Accompanying this trend are numerous complaints from the technology industry about the difficulties in finding skilled workers, to fill new jobs in the UK, and the belief that these new educational programs will help solve this deficit.

Celebrities, politicians, and executives have come out in vast number to argue this case, and many new organizations have sprung up to help nine year olds develop their computer skills, with the hope they will eventually plug the gap in the growing technology industry. We’re excited to work alongside them, but we don’t always share the same aims and goals. Our goal is to inspire children to build and share their ideas, learning along the way.

Coding is more than just a vocational skill, learning to code is changing the way children  analyse and solve problems. We know because it’s happening right now across the UK, as shown by an Open University Study on the first year of Code Club:

There has been a marked difference in the way the Code Club members approach problem solving; they have learnt to test and work to solve problems and not to just accept that there is only one way to achieve something. Engagement has improved and it incited a new lease of creativity and optimism. They are much more willing now to help each other solve problems and try to find solutions before looking to the teacher for help.

Learning to build your own ideas, with or without a computer, is a remarkable way to encourage children and adults alike, and that’s what we attempt to do at Code Club: with just one volunteer, fifteen children, and one hour a week. An hour isn’t enough to prepare children for work, but more than enough time to inspire them to create and realise their own ideas.

Screen Shot 2013-01-13 at 19.35.57We have over 1900 clubs across the UK, and we’re not finished yet: With the new curriculum changes, we’re also working with teachers (via Code Club Pro) to help them prepare for the changes ahead, as well as how to use computing to enrich the rest of the curriculum.

 
We want to prepare the next generation for the world ahead with the best tools at their disposal, so they can not only imagine the future, but build it too.

by @tef and the Code Club Team