CAS is making a significant difference to the implementation of the new computing curriculum.
(CEIR, Sheffield Hallam)
The Network of Excellence (NoE) is part of the Computing At School group (CAS). It was first established in 2012 to enable teachers in England to become confident, effective and enthusiastic teachers of computing, and to develop and articulate a vision for the subject of computing at the national level.
The NoE builds on the grass roots ethos which is central to Computing At School – inspiring, leading, training, and supporting an active community of practice. It is both a network of professionals working together and a wide-reaching programme of professional development. It recognises the importance of local, face-to-face, peer-to-peer delivery, professional relationships and building the confidence of the people involved.
This approach is school-led and responsive to local needs. It brings together many of the community-building strands of CAS to maximise their impact and quality. It aims to inspire, motivate and support teachers by building a high-quality, low-cost, sustainable CPD infrastructure that nurtures long-term collaboration between teachers, schools, and universities.
The NoE is now at the heart of government strategy to ensure all students have the digital skills required for the UK to prosper in the 21st century. Government funding, provided through the DfE, helps grow the NoE through the recruitment and training of CAS Master Teachers and provides them with a localised support infrastructure through part-funding of 10 CAS Regional Centres based in universities.
The DfE has tasked the NoE to meet 4 key objectives by March 2018. These are to:
- ensure a good geographical spread of support and provide focused support in “cold spot” areas.
- grow the Network of Excellence by recruiting, training and supporting a further 200 Master Teachers so there are a minimum of 450 by the end of the contract.
- provide a minimum of 30,000 hours of CPD support to teachers in each year of the contract, including training of new Master Teachers, as well as support to other teachers.
- support a minimum of 8,500 teachers in each year of the contract from a minimum of 2500 schools.
Information on how the NoE is meeting these targets, together with evidence of the impact of the NoE in schools can be found here.