The Computing Curriculum in England: A Timeline of Hopes and Experience

The Computing Curriculum in England: A Timeline of Hopes and Experience

Has the Computing Programme of Study been an unequivocal success? In my article It Wasn’t Me Wot Done It, Sir! The Depressing State Of Computing As A Subject, I said that many students were voting against Computing qualifications with their feet, and also that girls were under-represented. Moreover, I stated that the situation was entirely predictable (many of us indeed had predicted it).

I expanded on the article in my newsletter, Digital Education, by including a list of references for people to consult if they wished to.

Basically, the story is one of hubris.

Does it matter? Yes. Computer Science is a great subject, but it isn't for everybody. We need ICT qualifications too. Unfortunately, in terms of both school qualifications, in which ICT has disappeared, and the Computing Programme of Study, which many people seem to interpret as 'coding', choice has disappeared. What happened to the concept of a 'broad and balanced' curriculum?

In this article I set out what I see as the key milestones in the journey to where we are now. I have included quotes from the sources, and also given the source in each case so that you can check out the sources yourself.

Read more.

cross-posted at

Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Digital Education."