Since the autumn of 2014 computing has been a statutory subject for all children in England from the age of five through to the age of 16. Computer science is at the heart of the new computing curriculum, and for almost all schools a new and intellectually challenging academic discipline. Its introduction requires leadership and a systematic approach to change management. The number of students taking GCSE computer science has more than doubled to just over 77,000. This is encouraging, but there is still some way to go.
Feedback from schools is that school leaders have a crucial role in securing computing’s position as part of their school’s curriculum. Whilst also ensuring that all young people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, receive the benefit of a computing education.
The Senior Leader Toolkit guide has been produced to help school leadership teams develop computing in their schools in ways that are consistent with the school’s desire to provide a broad and balanced curriculum to all students. The case studies provided in the toolkit is a good starting point for thinking about the school’s own strategy for implementing the computing curriculum.
This toolkit also contains a series of leaflets that identify important issues that will need to be addressed in the school’s planning and implementation of the computing curriculum. We are aware of the time pressures faced by busy teachers and school leaders, so have endeavoured to keep the text short, providing more time for discussion and planning. Space has been included to record planning discussions.
We recommend that leadership teams read Excellent Computing in Every School: A Toolkit for School Leaders before looking at the other parts of the pack This short booklet for school leaders sets out the importance of effective leadership in ensuring all young people benefit from the computing curriculum.