An understanding of computing enables citizens to make informed choices in our digital world. To get to that point, we need to encourage and equip school staff. The CAS community of teachers, academics and industry professionals provides access to a range of resources and local events supporting continuing professional development. Membership is open to all adults except students in Further Education taking school-level qualifications.
CAS’s mission is to lead and promote excellence in all those staff involved in Computing education in schools. Our aim is for computing – with Computer Science at its heart – to become firmly established in all Primary and Secondary schools alongside maths and the natural sciences. CAS speaks for the discipline of computing at school level – including Further Education – but not for any particular interest group.
"The huge network of teachers has provided me with support and insight into the world of the computing curriculum, from recommending schemes of work to visiting me and helping me in my new role of Computing Coordinator. I now have a clear vision of what I would like to do next."
The National Centre for Computing Education exists to support teachers at every stage, from primary to A level, to improve computing skills and subject knowledge. It does this through certified CPD, resources and local meet-ups, through the CAS Communities of Practice.
The National Centre for Computing Education is a funded programme by the Department for Education in England. It is led by a consortium of STEM Learning, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Visit www.teachcomputing.org for more information.
CAS is committed to supporting all teachers to ensure that every child has a world-class computing education in a culture which fosters inclusion and champions the value of diversity, defined as understanding the needs of each individual while embracing our differences.
No individual or group of people should face challenges to engaging with computing education because of prejudice or discrimination based on issues like racism, sexism, LGBTQIA+ rights, disability inclusion, religious discrimination, ageism, parental and relationship rights, socio economic disadvantage, or neurodiversity.
While we have made progress there is more that we can do to make the CAS community as welcoming and helpful as possible to all computing teachers. Diversity is a strength. The more diverse and inclusive our community becomes, the richer the dialogue will be about teaching computing. Different perspectives on the challenges we face will broaden the range of solutions we develop.
The promotion of diversity and inclusion is the responsibility of all members of our community. It is expected that we will all contribute to ensuring that CAS is a safe, welcoming, and productive environment, where there is equality of opportunity, fostered in an environment of mutual respect and dignity. We value the uniqueness and talents, beliefs, backgrounds, capabilities, and ways of working of all CAS members, joined in a common endeavour, to create a culture of belonging.
In practical terms this means we commit to:
There are a number of concrete actions we will be taking to make CAS more inclusive and diverse.
Our subject has developed through contributions from many people and backgrounds over many years. However, often contributions are hidden, presenting a distorted view that computing is predominantly the purview of ‘white and male’.
The CAS community has grown organically over a short number of years. We want to ensure that, as our community continues to grow, the community and our key roles reflect the diversity in schools and the wider teaching population.
CAS events will promote diversity and inclusion by profiling diverse participants and facilitators, creating inclusive event content, and ensuring accessibility is built into the design of the events.
Diversity and inclusion should become ‘business as usual’ across all aspects of CAS, however, we are not at that point yet. It is essential that we continue to challenge ourselves and seek the challenge of those communities with which we wish to engage.
These are first steps to showing our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We will not get everything right. Talk to us and tell us if there is anything we could do better or anything you would like to see more of. It is through the open, honest dialogue that characterises CAS at its best, that we will make progress.
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 provides advice to the BCS School Curriculum and Assessment Committee, supporting its role in shaping public debate and shaping the future of computing in schools. 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 Council of Professors and Heads of Computing(CPHC). Without their help there would be no CAS. Thank you!
The Computing at School working group is managed by a board of members under the auspices of the BCS Academy.