First college of coding aims to unlock Britain’s silicon skills


The Times, 17 December 2016


Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, opened in September with an initial group of 58 students in a converted job centre in Tottenham, north London. It plans to move to £31 million premises with capacity for 2,500 students.

While mentoring a teenager from a poor family, Mark Smith realised a troubling thing. This bright young man, with eight A* and A grades at GCSE, was failing his A level in computing.

This led Mr Smith to set up England’s first college to specialise in teaching computer coding to teenagers and to stimulate new thinking in how to overcome a chronic shortage in digital skills.