Context and background

For several years CAS has been advocating the need for some serious funding to support our subject teachers deliver the Computing curriculum across ALL key stages, building on the foundation established by the DfE funded programme The Network of Excellence. In November 2017 the DfE announced £100m (£84m for England) to do this. There has been a lengthy procurement process for four separate packages ("lots"):

  1. A National Centre for Computing Education and Network
  2. A training programme for GCSE computer science
  3. A level support programme for computer science students and teachers
  4. A pilot programme to identify effective approaches to improve gender balance in computing

The programme will start in November 2018 and run for four years, until 2022. Each of the lots will be co-ordinated by the National Centre and bears a strong resemblance to the programme for Maths: Maths Hubs

The "Lots"

  1. Lot 1: The National Centre for Computing Education (NCCCE) - The NCCE will be a regional network of 40 Computing Hubs based in high performing state secondary schools. Working with a centrally provided set of curated resources they will employ qualified staff be offer training and CPD to teachers of ALL key stages. Schools in designated category 5 and category 6 priority areas will be able to access funding to support their development.
  2. Lot 2: GCSE Computer Science Training - This lot will deliver a free certified training programme, minimum 40 hours, to 8,000 existing secondary school teachers to deliver GCSE Computer Science in their school. This will be free to access, including supply cover costs, and will provide subject knowledge primarily. This training will be followed up through Lot 1.
  3. Lot 3: A Level Computing - Lot 3 will develop a range of knowledge-rich resources, deliver a programme of face-to-face road shows/master classes for pupils to support the teaching and learning of A Level Computing. Training will be provided to develop subject knowledge and pedagogy and guidance on promoting computer science A level to younger pupils. This training will be provided free for all A level pupils and teachers
  4. Lot 4: Gender Pilot - Not yet awarded

Who is involved?

The contract to delver the NCCE was won by a consortium of STEM Learning, The Raspberry Pi Foundation, and BCS The Chartered Institute for IT (of which CAS is a part). They will have different responsibilities:

  • STEM Learning - Lead partner for reporting and communications, responsible for the recruitment, training, and support of 40 school-based hubs plus materials for CPD for GCSE CS teachers.  (The hubs deliver the courses.) 
  • The Raspberry Pi Foundation - Content development, research, the on-line presence of the National Centre and the A-level programme 
  • BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT< - Academic standards for subject knowledge, Certification of teachers, Community of practice (CAS) and Industry engagement 

Our Promises

  1. We will build on the strong foundations established by Computing at School (CAS)
  2. We will establish a system of certification, leading to chartered status
  3. We will develop a Network of at least 40 Computing Hubs, underpinned by the vibrant grass roots communities of practice (CAS)
  4. We will provide face-to-face and on-line training grounded in the best research and delivered in a variety of flexible ways that fit with teachers’ busy lives.
  5. We will curate a comprehensive bank of educational resources
  6. We will make CPD available at no cost to teachers in priority schools and cap charges at a low rate for others
  7. We will make all on-line resources and courses free for all teachers
  8. We will provide bursaries to schools in areas of disadvantage to enable them to release teachers to take part in professional development
  9. We will work with industry and non-profit partners to integrate a wide range of proven curriculum enhancements
  10. We will work with teachers to realise the vision