The Royal Society Report After the Reboot: Computing Education in UK Schools expressed clear concern about the qualifications landscape for computing, especially at Key Stage 4, and recommended that Ofqual and the government should work urgently with the learned societies in computing, awarding bodies and other stakeholder groups, to ensure that the range of qualifications includes pathways suitable for all pupils.

In response, BCS will establish a new and permanent School Curriculum and Assessment Committee. The Committee, part of the BCS formal governance, will provide a valuable contribution to the work of the BCS Academy Board and will seek to provide government with ongoing advice on the long-term needs of the computing curriculum in schools, including content, qualifications, pedagogy and assessment methods for computing.

The key priorities for the Committee, as identified by the Royal Society Report, are to make recommendations on the range of qualifications, with an immediate focus on information technology qualifications at Key Stage 4, as well as to commence a broad review of the existing computing curriculum for England from KS1 to KS4. A key role will be to consult with teachers, parents and pupils on the qualifications and curriculum content to ensure all pupils have a high quality computing education and that the qualifications available for all pupils matches their expectations and needs.

The Committee will bring together teachers, school leaders, industry, charities, learned societies and academia from across the UK, and will be chaired by Professor Muffy Calder OBE FREng FRSE, Vice-Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow.

An initial meeting to form the committee has been planned for October 19th in central London. At this meeting the terms of reference and scope will be drafted, after which the committee will be actively looking for teachers and those with expertise to join. More details about the committee, including Terms of Reference and process for joining, will be shared after the initial meeting. 

This new committee will be an important part of helping to ensure the whole computing curriculum across all the school system meets the needs of pupils and the UK for generations to come.