Congratulations are in order for our very own chair of CAS, Simon Peyton Jones. He’s been appointed chair of the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE). As you may be already aware, Professor Peyton Jones, of Microsoft Research, achieved worldwide recognition for his work as a leading computer scientist on the Haskell programming language and he is a fellow of the Royal Society.
The mission of the NCCE is to improve the teaching of computer science and increase the number of pupils studying the subject at GCSE and A-Level. Professor Peyton Jones said: “I think the NCCE is wildly exciting and it’s a chance to really focus on what high-quality teaching and learning in our subject looks like, and to develop great training and materials. In a message posted on the CAS website, he said: “I am delighted to have a role in translating the big vision of the new computing curriculum into a vibrant reality in every classroom in the country.”
He will be chairing two NCCE boards. The first is the Advisory Board, which will be made up of around 20 people drawn from different stakeholder groups such as teachers, employers, universities and professional bodies. The second will be the Academic Board, which will be smaller; its remit is to ensure that high standards are met, and the integrity of the subject discipline is maintained.
Professor Peyton Jones added: “We are, all of us, committed to ensuring that every child has a world-leading computing education. The NCCE certainly has a major role to play in that mission. But it will succeed only if all of the NCCE’s work is done with teachers, not to teachers. So we need you every step of the way.”
The School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “This appointment reflects the government’s determination to make sure pupils are computer literate and versed in the fundamentals of computer science and computer programming."
“Professor Peyton Jones brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role. This will be vital in making sure the centre, which is backed by a consortium made up of some of the country’s most accomplished tech organisations, is able to train teachers in the latest digital skills.”
The consortium of the NCCE is made up of STEM Learning, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the Raspberry Pi Foundation and they will be delivering the work of the NCCE, backed by up to £84 million of government funding. The National Centre will operate virtually through a national network of up to 40 school-led computing hubs across England to provide training and resources to primary and secondary schools, and an intensive training programme for secondary teachers without a post A-Level qualification in computer science. The centre will also develop an A-level programme to better prepare those students for further study and employment in digital roles.