Dr Sue Sentance has been appointed as the new chair for the BCS Schools and Colleges Committee by The BCS Academy of Computing Board.

The Academy is an inclusive network of teachers, scholars, researchers and practitioners working together to advance computing as a discipline and driving the future success of IT. In her new role as Chair of The Schools and Colleges Committee’s (formerly The School Curriculum and Assessment Committee) Sue will oversee the bringing together of views of a broad and inclusive range of expert stakeholders from schools and FE colleges across the UK and other stakeholders to provide authoritative, independent, evidence-based guidance and advice to BCS on the content, qualifications, pedagogy and assessment methods for computing education in schools and colleges. Its remit is UK-wide and encompasses the curriculum and assessment associated with Computing from Primary to FE.

Dr Sue Sentance, an experienced educator, researcher and leader in computing education said: “I feel privileged to be stepping into the role of Chair at such an exciting time. Computing education provides so much opportunity and it is an honour to be in a position where I can play a key role in taking this forward. I am committed to making computing accessible to learners and teachers and am looking forward working with the Committee to support the growth and development of computing education through our community.”

The Schools and Colleges Committee will work closely with the nation-specific stakeholder groups to better understand the needs in each nation with focus on the big issues including gender, inclusion, breadth of computing, routes into careers, social and technical advances and how the curriculum is responding and innovation in practice.

Expertise and guidance will be an asset

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Professor Alastair Irons, BCS Vice President (Academic) said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Sue to the Committee. She has a great deal of experience and is full of fantastic ideas which we look forward to putting into practice. Her expertise and guidance will be a real asset and I look forward to working with Sue as we continue our vital work helping to ensure the future success of IT.”

“I’d also like to extend our thanks to outgoing Chair Professor Dame Muffy Calder FBCS for her hard work and commitment over the last few years. She was the founding Chair back when we first established the Committee in 2018 and has been very much at the centre since its inception. Much progress has been made over this time and I’d like to express our sincere gratitude to her.”

About Dr. Sue Sentance

Sue is Director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation Computing Education Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. She joined the Department in October 2021 as Director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, part-time initially and now full-time. Since gaining a PhD in Artificial Intelligence in Education in 1993, Sue has worked as a teacher of computer science, teacher educator, university lecturer and researcher. She was the Chief Learning Officer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation until April 2023. 

Sue played a leading role in the DfE-funded National Centre for Computing Education particularly around the development of the Computing Curriculum, Ada Computer Science, and online teacher professional development courses. She was also the strategic lead for the £2m DfE-funded Gender Balance in Computing research programme (2019-2023). Sue’s research work developed an approach to structuring programming lessons and the 2nd edition of her text book for prospective computer science educators and researchers was published in February 2023.