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BCS proposes computer science schools network

26/03/2012 Joanna
A new programme being created by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, alongside Computing at School (CAS) could see schools recognised for teaching excellence in computer science.

The organisations are looking for 250 schools to register their interest in becoming part of the network of schools that would promote the teaching of computer science.

It follows a speech by education minister Michael Gove earlier this year in which he proposed reforms to ICT teaching in English schools that are due to come into effect in September.

"Together with CAS, the Institute is working to create a network of schools and universities to advance teaching excellence in computer science," said Bill Mitchell, director of the BCS Academy of Computing.

As part of the scheme, schools registered with the former British Computer Society would teach computer science through Key Stage 3 and 4, including GCSE, designed to be a catalyst for an augmented computing curriculum.

Schools would also join a regional teaching hub to share best practice and offer continued professional development (CPD) to their local counterparts.

One teacher job at a newly networked school would also be enhanced with CPD to improve the school's computer teaching, while collaborations with local universities' computer science departments would help inspire teachers and pupils alike.

An information pack is now being sent to England's 3,500 maintained secondary schools with a view to recruiting an initial network of 250 schools. The BCS eventually hope to expand this number to 1,000.

"Identifying the right strategies to ensure success for schools is of paramount importance," Mr Mitchell added.

"The pack we're sending out provides comprehensive information to help head teachers and school governors make the right decisions."

Schools already offering computer science at GCSE are ideally placed to join the network, and Mr Mitchell has called on them to take advantage of the CPD that the scheme would offer their specialist computing teachers.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801326267-ADNFCR
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