1726. Toni Scullion
Toni Scullion, from North Lanarkshire, is a computer science teacher who set up ‘dressCode’, an online lunch club operating in over 55 schools UK-wide, teaching pupils about coding, game design, website development and cyber security.
Toni created the charity with the particular aim of engaging girls in computer science, closing the gender gap in the field and ultimately helping to improve diversity within the tech sector. ‘dressCode’ operates as an online platform and helps to show pupils how coding can be used creatively. The charity has also run hackathons in tech companies, bringing school girls out to workspaces where they work together with a senior mentor to complete a challenge using code. ‘dressCode’ also created and runs ‘Computing Science Scotland’, a grassroots network supporting, encouraging and championing teachers delivering computing science, and recently launched the Digital Technology Education Charter, a national movement supporting computing science at schools in Scotland, with 3 universities, 7 colleges, 3 schools, over 65 organisations and over 100 individuals so far signed up.
In a personal letter to Toni, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to hear about ‘dressCode’ and your online lunch clubs teaching girls across 55 schools to code, design games and build websites.
“We all remember our favourite teacher and how they found amazing, imaginative ways to get us into a subject. This is exactly what you do at ‘dressCode’ making tech exciting and accessible for young girls. These skills will be essential for future jobs so I wish you every continued success.”
In response to receiving the award, Toni said:
“I am truly overwhelmed and delighted to be recognised in the Points of Light Awards and this is a credit to the ‘dressCode’ team of myself, Brendan McCart and Richard Carey. Computing Science is such an important subject and it is vital the next generation are equipped with the skills needed in the future. ‘dressCode’ is nothing without the hard work of so many inspirational Computing Science teachers across the country who support our initiatives and help ‘dressCode’ engage and inspire so many young people.”