22 August 2019
With exam results announced today - BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT says the continuing rise in the number of pupils opting to take GCSE Computer Science is a cause for celebration. According to figures from The Department for Education, entries for GCSEs in Computer Science have risen for the sixth year in succession - a strong indication that the subject continues to grow in popularity.
The proportion of entries achieving top grades (9 to 7) has increased by 0.7%, while there has been an even greater increase in the proportion of pupils achieving a good pass (9 to 4), by 1.3%. The gender gap has also continued to narrow, with girls now making up 21.7% of all entries compared to 20.4% last year.
Julia Adamson, Director of Education at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, says: “Congratulations to this year’s GCSE Computer Science students, their teachers and parents, on all their hard work.
GCSE Computer Science is continuing to grow and has seen a further significant increase in the number of pupils opting to take the subject. It is particularly encouraging to see that there has been an increase in the number of girls choosing to study the subject. Computer Science was only introduced formally to the curriculum five years ago and is still relatively new, so these figures are very pleasing, and I look forward to seeing future growth in the years ahead.”
She continues: “It’s important to build on the energy and enthusiasm of the many teachers who are already committed to the success of this subject. More support - in terms of teaching resources and continuing professional development - is now available to all primary and secondary school computing teachers across England, through the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE).”
Launched last year, the NCCE is a consortium made up of STEM Learning, Raspberry Pi Foundation and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. It aims to increase the number of pupils in schools and colleges who study computer science at GCSE and A Level, particularly girls, and those from disadvantaged areas.
Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary said: “Today is a proud day for students, teachers and parents up and down the country, and I wish them all the very best for their results.
It should also be an exciting day. It’s a day that marks the culmination of years of hard work and opens doors that can create life-changing opportunities.
The work this Government has done to drive up standards means there has never been a better time to go onto further study. We will continue to focus on discipline, outcomes and standards, so whatever path they choose, young people will get a better and better education so they can be full of confidence about their future.”
Professor Simon Peyton Jones, Computing at School and NCCE Chair commented: “Computer science is one of the most exciting, intellectually rich, and creative disciplines on the planet. I’m delighted that more young people are deciding take computer science at GCSE. Not only is it a deep foundational subject, but the knowledge and thinking skills that it fosters are in very strong demand. I urge more schools to offer computer science as a GCSE subject, and to take advantage of the NCCE’s training programme that will equip their teachers to teach it in a truly inspirational way.”