A new expert body on computing education was established today: the UK Forum for Computing Education (UKForCE), which will provide an independent and unified voice to advise UK government and other agencies on issues relating to computing education. UKForCE is led by the Royal Academy of Engineering and will provide advice on the curriculum, qualifications and assessment and the supply and training of computing teachers.
As per today’s press release, the expert body has been established in response to the 2012 Royal Society report “Shut down or restart: the way forward for computing in UK schools”, which had as a key recommendation the formation of a UK forum for the UK’s computing bodies. UKForCE brings together representatives from across the communities of education, computer science, digital media, IT, engineering and telecommunications. The body will be independent of government and awarding organisations and will work towards improving computing education across all education sectors of the UK.
UKForCE will consist of a smaller strategic group, along with a broader representative forum (invitations to be sent out shortly); the current members of the group are:
- Chris Mairs FREng (Metaswitch Networks)
- Andy Connell (Keele University)
- Bob Harrison (Toshiba Information Systems, UK)
- Simon Peyton Jones (Microsoft Research Cambridge)
- Bill Mitchell (BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT)
- Liz Bacon (University of Greenwich)
- Theo Blackwell (Next Gen. Skills)
- Mark Chambers (Naace)
- Debbie Forster (Apps for Good)
- Quintin Cutts (University of Glasgow)
- Tom Crick (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
- Sue Nieland (e-skills UK)
- Rhys Morgan (Royal Academy of Engineering)
Chris Mairs, Chair of UKForCE and Chief Scientist at Metaswitch Networks, said:
The new computing curriculum, which comes into effect in September 2014, is a most welcome step change in computing education. There are many amazing initiatives springing up to build upon this bold move both inside and outside the classroom.
UKForCE will be the connective tissue between all these initiatives, central government and other relevant bodies. With a coherent voice and government commitment, our children will be the world’s most savvy digital citizens and a tremendous asset to the UK economy.
As well as providing a springboard for great software engineers and computing specialists, effective delivery of the new curriculum can literally improve the life chances of an entire generation. UKForCE will help make this happen.
The creation of UKForCE, to sit alongside similar organisations such as ACME, SCORE and E4E, is a significant opportunity to raise the profile of computing as a discipline, as well as support its delivery across all four nations of the UK. I look forward to working with the forum in 2014, in particular to continue to promote the reform of computing education in Wales (see the review of the ICT curriculum in Wales from October).
Also see my university’s press release, featuring cheesy photo.