Simon Humphreys, Computing At School

CAS Coordinator, Simon Humphreys, speaks about:

  • Computing At School
  • the forthcoming changes to the ICT curriculum
  • the roles of master teachers
  • the Network of Excellence
  • how parents and teachers can become involved in shaping and structuring IT learning.

Our Purpose and Mission

Promoting and supporting excellence in computer science education:

The mission of Computing At School is to provide leadership and strategic guidance to all those involved in Computing education in schools, with a significant but not exclusive focus on the Computer Science theme within the wider Computing curriculum. Excellence in the teaching of Computing can only be made by teachers through the way they deliver the skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes associated with the curriculum. Through the participation of the wider community we seek to support and empower each other in an inclusive and self-sustaining body so that each child has the opportunity of an outstanding computer science education. CAS achieves this by supporting and promoting all those individuals, partner organisations, companies, and university departments who wish to run CAS regional hubs, put on CPD courses, generate teaching resources etc. that support the Computing curriculum.

There is no "them" - only us

The Computing At School (CAS) Working Group aims to promote the teaching of computer science at school. CAS was born out of our excitement with our discipline, combined with a serious concern that many students are being turned off computing by a combination of factors that have conspired to make the subject seem dull and pedestrian. Our goal is to put the excitement back into Computing at school.

CAS is a grass roots organisation, whose energy, creativity, and leadership comes from its members. Members who run local hubs, provide face to face training for other teachers in their area, participate in online discussions, share their resources freely with other members through our community forum and a whole host of other activities. As one member put it: "Being part of CAS means getting involved fully with CAS, giving as well as taking"!

We are a collaborative partner with the BCS through the BCS Academy of Computing, and have formal support from other industry partners. Membership is open to almost everyone, and is very broad, including teachers, parents, governors, exam boards, industry, professional societies, and universities, but is not open to school-age children and FE students taking school-level qualifications. We speak for the discipline of computing at school level, inc. FE, and not for any particular interest group.

What we do

CAS works at many levels, including:

  • Directly supporting ICT and Computing teachers who are excited by computing, by providing them with teaching material, training, local hubs, newsletters and the opportunity to meet with like-minded colleagues.
  • The Subject Association for computing teachers.
  • Working at an institutional level, for example by encouraging the development of GCSEs in Computing.
  • Advocacy at national policy level, for example by submitting evidence to the Royal Society study on Computing in School.

Computing At School is a member of the Council for Subject Associations. Download the CfSA manifesto.

Structure and Organisation

CAS has formed a strategic alliance with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The BCS is the natural professional society for our discipline, and it is hugely helpful to us to have their support. BCS contributes significant resources in terms of time and money which enables staff to support CAS members from within BCS.

Formally, CAS is part of the BCS Academy, and in due course CAS members will automatically (and cheaply) be members of BCS. This provides a supportive institutional framework but does not threaten CAS's autonomy or grass-roots style. CAS is internally governed by the CAS Board, formed from the membership.

Around the country, members of CAS volunteer to be regional representatives for the association forming a valuable network across the UK.

CAS is supported financially by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, Microsoft, Google, Ensoft and the UK Committee of Heads and Professors of Computer Science. Without their help there would be no CAS. Thank you!

CAS Board

The Computing at School working group is managed by a board of members under the auspices of the BCS Academy.

CAS Management Board Terms of Reference

Dr Irene Bell Chair CAS Northern Ireland

Head of Science, Mathematics and Technology, Stranmillis University College

Miles Berry  

Principal lecturer in Computing Education, University of Roehampton

Beverly Clarke  

Plymouth University

Dr Tom Crick Chair, CAS Wales

Cardiff Metropollitan University

Prof Paul Curzon  

Queen Mary University of London, cs4fn

Prof. Quintin Cutts Chair, CAS Scotland

University of Glasgow

Roger Davies  

Director of ICT at Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria.

Dr Peter Dickman  

Engineering Director, Google Switzerland GmbH

Simon Humphreys National Coordinator CAS

Prof Michael Kolling  

Professor at the School of Computing, University of Kent in Canterbury, UK

Prof Carsten Maple  

Chair, CPHC

Dr Bill Mitchell  

Director of Education, BCS

Thomas Ng  

Strategic lead of West Berkshire School Wide Area Network

John Palmer  

Faculty Head for IT, Computing and Business, The Chase School, Malvern

Prof Simon Peyton Jones Chair

Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge

Carrie-Anne Philbin Chair of CAS #include

Raspberry Pi Foundation

Clare Riley  

Education relations, Microsoft UK

Zoe Ross  

Barefoot Computing, CAS

Dr Sue Sentance  

King’s College London, CAS

Sarah Zaman CAS North West (Manchester) Regional Coordinator

The University of Manchester