The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has been asked to consider how to introduce the teaching of coding in primary schools by Minister for Education Richard Bruton.

The council is currently reviewing the primary school syllabus and is developing a new primary maths curriculum.

In a letter to the NCCA, Mr Bruton has requested that particular consideration be given to ensuring that children have an opportunity to develop the flexible and creative thinking skills that are the basis of computer science and coding.

The NCCA is working on a new maths curriculum for primary schools and it hopes to introduce a draft version by next spring.

It is within this framework that the minister is keen to see a role for coding.

Citing the success of CoderDojo coding clubs for children, Mr Bruton said the clubs taught problem-solving skills in a way that engaged and excited children, and should be learned from.

However, calls for any expansion of the curriculum are likely to revive concerns held by teachers and others of curriculum overload.

The National Strategy for Literacy and Numeracy has recommended that the amount of time allocated to the teaching of maths, and literacy, be increased.

Currently three hours per week is allocated to maths. There has been criticism of the fact that two-and-a-half hours per week are dedicated to religion.

The NCCA is due to advice the minister this year on a revised time allocation.