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National reports and policy documents.

National reports and policy documents

Amanda Ford

Created by Amanda Ford
last edited Jun 21 2018 by Simon Humphreys


Here are links to relevant national reports on Computing at School. Most recent at the top.

2018

  • June 2018 The Roehampton Annual Computing Education Report: data from 2017 - data on the uptake of the computing GCSE and A-level, including breakdowns and inter-subject comparisons using region, school type, gender, ethnicity and pupil premium. Shows different school and student demographics offering CS compared to ICT. Reported by the BBC and TES

  • May 2018 Females and Computing - CAS Survey 2018 - Between the 19th March 2018 and 29th March 2018 CAS conducted a survey, shared to CAS members via the CAS Community forum, asking 14 - 18 year old girls several questions about their perceptions of computing and computer science. This document briefly summarises the findings of that survey.

  • March 2018 2018 Developer Skills Report, HackerRank. Based on a survey of around 40,000 developers. “Of the 17 countries represented in the survey with at least 100 respondents, the UK stands out with the highest share of developers who started coding as young as 5 to 10 years old. The majority of those developers are in their 30s and 40s today. Today, this culture of forward-thinking education has persisted in the UK — it became the first nation to modernize its curriculum by requiring kids as young as 5 to take programming classes."

2017

  • Dec 2017 Life in 'likes', the UK Children’s Commissioner’s report on the effects of social media on 8-to-12-year-olds examines the way children use social media and its effects on their wellbeing. "While 8-10s use social media in a playful, creative way – often to play games – this changes significantly as children’s social circles expand as they grow older. This report shows that many Year 7 children are finding social media hard to manage and becoming over-dependent on ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ for social validation. They are also adapting their offline behaviour to fit an online image, and becoming increasingly anxious about ‘keeping up appearances’ as they get older."

  • Nov 2017 Royal Society Report: After the Reboot The Royal Society published "Shut Down or Restart" in 2012 report which paved the way for schools to introduce computing into the national curriculum. This report follows on from that providing a snapshot of the changes that have taken place since 2012. They identify a number of key areas/challenges that governments, industry and school leaders need to address in order to, in their words "safeguard our future efficacy in the digital world".

  • Nov 2017 What Can You Do With a Masters in Political Science? People who go into the area of political science are passionate about the political environment and how it affects the everyday lives of the population. Political scientists study the way government and all its branches and sectors operate. They research political systems, their origin and development, as well as analyze political trends, issues, and public policy.

  • Nov 2017 Guide to getting a Master’s Degree in Computer Science So you’ve decided that getting a master’s degree is worth it and you want to embark on the journey. There are plenty of reasons to go to grad school and many types of master’s degrees that you can choose from.

  • Nov 2017 Guide to Best OT Schools in USA People’s awareness on various disabilities is continuously increasing and we strive to improve the lives of those who have certain challenges. Because of this, many medical professions which were not very popular are gaining higher recognition. One of them is Occupational Therapy. That’s why this article will go through how to choose a university and what the best OT schools are.

  • Nov 2017 How Long Does it Take to Get a Masters Degree As technological progression continues to replace technical jobs and employment opportunities, many people are looking into gaining more skills to meet the increasing needs of the labor market.

  • Jan 2017 Growing up digital, A report from the Children's Commissioner's Growing Up Digital Taskforce. "The current Computing curriculum sets out in detail the technical skills and some of the legal knowledge a child should have at different ages. The Children’s Commissioner however believes this is too narrow, and often too late; your data protection rights, for instance, are not taught until GCSE level, and GCSE Computing is not compulsory.”

2016

  • Dec 2016 The Roehampton Annual Computing Education Report: 2015 data from England - data on the uptake of the computing GCSE and A-level, including breakdowns and inter-subject comparisons using region, school type, gender, ethnicity and pupil premium. Shows different school and student demographics offering CS compared to ICT. Reported by the BBC and Schoolsweek

  • Dec 2016 Tech literacy: a new cornerstone of modern primary school education, BT and Ipsos Mori. Includes survey results about the CAS Barefoot project.

  • Nov 2016 Jobs of the future, Pretty Curious and EDF Energy. Here's the PDF. Lots of info, including (from the executive summary) "Computing skills will be the most in demand, with the most job openings and the highest number of new jobs (25%). Computer services will be the most science-dependent industry followed by scientific research, information services, telecommunications and computers."

  • Oct 2016 Robotics and artificial intelligence, a report of the Commons Science and Technology Committee. Here's a Guardian article about it: "Schools not preparing children to succeed in an AI future, MPs warn". NB: the link in the Guardian article to the report is broken; use the one in this item.

  • August 2016 Computing Science Teachers in Scotland 2016 , a report by CAS Scotland detailing the number, distribution and issues affecting teachers currently teaching Computing in Scottish Schools using FOI data from GTCS, Initial Teacher Education, Local Authorities and SQA.

  • June 2016 Digital Skills Crisis, a report of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Some good stuff in here. "The Government has set targets for recruiting teachers in Maths and Physics. They should also make a similar pledge for Computer Science."; and "The Government deserves credit for its leadership in introducing the computing curriculum but there is still some way to go for it to become truly embedded in all schools, let alone delivered to a consistently high standard"; and "We therefore recommend that the Government increase its investment in [computer science] teacher training as a long term commitment".

  • May 2016 Shadbolt review of computer sciences degree accreditation and graduate employability. This review discusses the employment prospects for computer science graduates, especially in the light of some surprising data suggesting that CS graduates are more likely to be unemployed than other STEM graduates.

  • May 2016 The UK STEM education landscape, Royal Academy of Engineering. More than 600 UK organisations run initiatives that seek to engage schools with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), but despite more than 10 years of concerted effort, all this activity has not yet had the desired impact of increasing uptake of STEM subjects among young people. The report calls for future initiatives to be far more coordinated, with better evaluation of their long-term impact.

  • Feb 2016 Review of publicly funded digital skills qualifications, 34 pages. The working group was chaired by Liz Williams, Director Tech Literacy and Education Programmes, BT Group. From the Foreword "I frequently hear people use the term 'digital natives'. Given the strategic importance of this tech literacy, we must move away from the belief that people can acquire these essential skills by osmosis. We should not confuse the confidence young people have using technology with the overwhelming need to put in place a robust structure to deliver digital skills to the level required in the UK, today and going forward."

  • Jan 2016 Computing graduate employability: sharing practice, CPHC and HEA. "Computing is one of the largest subject areas in Higher Education, and is taught in almost every institution, graduating around 9,000 students each year. However Computing graduates are recorded as having the highest unemployment rates for all subjects (11% for Computing compared with an overall rate of 7% for graduates of all subjects). This new report, jointly published by the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) and Higher Education Academy (HEA) highlights the depth, complexity and richness of employability practices in the sector, and aims to share those practices more widely."

2015

  • 2015 Final report of the Commission on Assessment without Levels. This DfE-sponsored report isn't about computing specifically, but it is an interesting look at assessment

  • 2015 Exam Factories?, a report from the National Union of Teachers. Not directly about computing, but a passionate and well-evidenced critique of the unintended consequences of the accountability measures now being used in England (Ofsted, Progress 8, SATs, etc etc).

  • 2015 Young Digital Makers Report, from Nesta, sets out to provide comprehensive data and insight on the perceptions, participation and provision of digital making opportunities for young people nationwide.

  • 2015 Make or break: the UK's Digital Future, report of the Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills, chaired by Baroness Sally Morgan, Feb 2015. It includes quite a bit about school education and teacher training. Direct link to PDF

2014

  • 2014 Computers at schools: it’s not enough to have them and it’s not enough to use them, Evidence Institute, Warsaw. Covers the board question of teaching ICT at school, but the second half of the abstract is very relevant to CAS: "The governments should no longer focus on providing ICT equipment as virtually all schools have computer labs and access to the Internet. More investment in this field would be counterproductive. The role of schools should be rather to teach students how to use computers and Internet in more sophisticated ways that facilitate learning and individual development. Teaching how computers work, e.g. with coding classes, should be introduced to school curricula."

  • 2014 Mapping learner progression into digital creativity: Catalysts & Disconnects, a report of the Nominet Trust, Julian Sefton-Green and Lucy Brown, Oct 2014. TES article.

  • 2014 Digital skills for tomorrow's world, report of the UK Digital Skills Task Force, chaired by Maggie Philbin. This report has a whole chapter on computing school.

  • 2014 European Vacancy and Recruitment Report 2014. Low qualified workers encounter increasing difficulties to find a job, face lower job stability and are out-competed by medium-skilled workers even in elementary occupations. In contrast, job opportunities are growing in some high-skilled professions. These are the main findings of the European Vacancy and Recruitment Report 2014

  • 2014 Policy Exchange Technology Manfesto, Policy Exchange, June 2014. Policy Exchange is an influential centre-right think tank. The "individuals" section makes direct and supportive references to the new Computing curriculum.

2013

2012

  • 2012 Technology Insights 2012, eSkills annual report on the education and employment scene in the technology sector. Has lots of useful facts and figures. Eg "The proportion of IT & telecoms professionals under 30 has fallen from 32% in 2001 to 19% in 2011."

  • Oct 2012 Michael Gove announces support for training Computer Science teachers, including £20,000 scholarships for initial teacher training. Video here, showing Michael Gove, Mark Dorling, Bill Mitchell, Ian Livingstone, and Chris Bishop. Coverage from the BBC, and the Guardian about it.

    Naace, ITTE, and MirandaNet wrote to Mr Gove to express concern about initial teacher training and CPD opportunities. Here is the letter, and the reply from David Laws, which give some insight into DfE thinking.

  • Dec 2012 How to teach vocational education: a theory of vocational pedagogy, Centre for Real World Learning.

  • Oct 2012 Report of the London Mayor's Education Enquiry. This is obviously much broader than just computer science but it does mention computing in several places.

  • July 2012 Report of the Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, on Higher education in STEM subjects (117 pages)  The good news is that the committee explicitly included Computer Science as a STEM subject.  It contains some interesting data on CS:

    • Only 39% of Computer Science HE students studied Maths at A-level (Fig 1, p23) – compared to 98% of Physics studnets.
    • The number of UK origin students studying computer science at undergraduate level has dropped by 27% between 2002-03 and 2009-10 (see p. 28).
    • A 45% drop in UK domiciled Masters degree qualifiers in the same period. (p. 106 compares this to other subjects)
  • June 2012 A tale of Tech City, a Demos report about East London's Tech City, which includes this quote from a TEch City entrepreneur in a section about Skills Gaps: "There just aren't enough Computer Scientists in the UK. And we need Computer Scientists, we don?t need – what do they call it – ICT trained people. We need real Computer Scientists who do software engineering and programming".

  • June 2012 CAS, Naace, ITTE Joint Statement A joint statement prepared by CAS, Naace and ITTE about Computer Science and ICT in schools

  • June 2012 System upgrade: realising the vision for UK education.  A report about using technology to invigorate education, by the Technology Enhanced Learning research project.  Includes a section on understanding how computers work that quotes the Royal Society report "Shut down or restart"

  • June 2012 Two DfE responses:

  • May 2012 The legacy of BBC Micro,  a NESTA/Science Museum report, by Tilly Blyth.  Includes some reflection on what teh legacy of the BBC Micro means for today's campaign for computer science.

  • April 2012 A levels not equipping students with appropriate mathematical skills.  Two reports, one from Nuffield, and one from SCORE, analyse A levels for the level of mathematics required.  Computing gets a sub-section of the Nuffield report, and comes out quite well. "The Nuffield Foundation examined the 2010 A-level papers for business studies, computing, economics, geography, psychology and sociology. The report concluded that with the exception of computing, the variation in mathematical content was so great that the qualifications did not give universities or employers a meaningful indication of students' level of mathematical skill or understanding."

  • Jan 2012; Removing the duty on maintained schools to follow the information and communication technology (ICT) Programmes of Study, DfE consultation document, 18 Jan 2012

  • March 2012 A curriculum framework for Computing and Information Technology - Computer Science is a crucial academic strand of school education, but a rounded education in computational thinking and digital systems is broader. This document puts the pieces together, covering what is currently called ICT

  • March 2012 The Case for Computing as a school subject - draws on the experience of the Computing at School Group and explains what Computer Science is, and why it is strategically important. It begins with a 4-page summary, followed by appendices that provide further background.

  • Jan 2012 Shut down or restart: the way forward for computing in UK schools, a major report from the Royal Society. Recommendations include:

    • Every child should be expected to be digitally literate by the end of compulsory education, in the same way that every child is expected to be able to read and write.
    • Every child should have the opportunity to learn concepts and principles from Computing (including Computer Science and Information Technology) from the beginning of primary education onwards, and by age 14 should be able to choose to study towards a recognised qualification in these areas.
    • Pupils should be exposed to, and should have the option to take further, topics such as: understanding of the internet and the design of web-based systems; the application of computers in society, business, the arts, science and engineering; computer programming, data organisation and the design of computers; and the underlying principles of computing.<

    The report also discusses the lack of teachers able to teach Computer Science and recommends that the Government put funding into teacher CPD, it also recommends that DfE should define the underlying principles and concepts of Computing and IT that students should encounter at school.

  • Jan 2012 Michael Gove's speech at the BETT show, in which he explicitly endorses Computer Science as a school subject, and withdraws the National Curriculum Programme of Study for ICT.  The official DfE press release is here. Lots of follow up on the media page.
    "And we're encouraging rigorous Computer Science courses

    The new Computer Science courses will reflect what you all know: that Computer Science is a rigorous, fascinating and intellectually challenging subject.

    Computer Science requires a thorough grounding in logic and set theory, and is merging with other scientific fields into new hybrid research subjects like computational biology.

    So I am also announcing today that, if new Computer Science GCSEs are developed that meet high standards of intellectual depth and practical value, we will certainly consider including Computer Science as an option in the English Baccalaureate.

    Although individual technologies change day by day, they are underpinned by foundational concepts and principles that have endured for decades. Long after today?s pupils leave school and enter the workplace – long after the technologies they used at school are obsolete – the principles learnt in Computer Science will still hold true."

2011

  • Dec 2011 The Importance of Technology: a collaborative white paper for schoolsNAACE white paper.

  • Dec 2011 Report of the National Curriculum Expert Panel, DfE. 

    P24 "Despite their importance in balanced educational provision, we are not entirely persuaded of claims that design and technology, information and communication technology and citizenship have sufficient disciplinary coherence to be stated as discrete and separate National Curriculum ?subjects?."

     P24: "We recommend that .... Information and communication technology is reclassified as part of the Basic Curriculum and requirements should be established so that it permeates all National Curriculum subjects. We have also noted the arguments, made by some respondents to the Call for Evidence, that there should be more widespread teaching of computer science in secondary schools. We recommend that this proposition is properly considered."
  • Dec 2011  DfE's Summary report of the Call for Evidence for the NC Review; sadly it makes no reference whatsoever to computing or computer science.

  • Dec 2011 The place of Computer Science in the National Curriculum for England, Association of Learning Technology.

  • Dec 2011  ICT in Schools 2008-11, an Ofsted report critical of the state of ICT in UK schools. See the media page for followup coverage.

  • Nov 2011 International Comparisons (December 2011) - A briefing note that summarises how computing (i.e. computer science) is taught at (high) school in other countries. CAS
  • Nov 2011  The Importance of Music: a National Plan for music education, DfE guidance.  This interesting report might serve as a template for one on Computer Science.  It says,

    "High quality music education enables lifelong participation in, and enjoyment of, music, as well as underpinning excellence and professionalism for those who choose not to pursue a career in music.

    "Children from all backgrounds and every part of England should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; to make music with others; to learn to sing; and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence.

    "This publication outlines the aims of the National Plan for Music Education and how the initiatives set out by the plan will impact schools, LAs and private music teachers".


  • Sept 2011 International comparison of Computing in Schools, National Foundation for Education Research, Sept 2011.

  • Sept 2011 Truth, lies, and the internet: a report into young people's digital fluencyA 60-page Demos report. "Our reserach shows that many young people are not careful discerning users of the internet.  They are unable to find the information they are lookking for, or trust the first thing they do.  They are unable to recognise bias and propaganda and will not go to a variety of sources. This makes them vulnerable to the pitfalls and rabbit holes of ignorance, falsehoods, cons, and scams."

  • Sept 2011  Digital technologies and mathematics education, Joint Mathematical Council.  Here's the executive summary.

  • Sept 2011 The English Baccalaureate and GCSE choicesA report for the DfE, done by the National Centre for Social Research

  • June 2011BCS Computing Fact Sheet (June 2011) - Why Computing education is important for the UK, prepared by BCS Academy.
  • June 2011 Training our next generation of outstanding teachersDfE policy consultation documentThere is also a new scholarship scheme for science and maths teachers, with some analysis by CASE

  • June 2011  Higher education: students at the heart of the system.  The long-awaited White Paper on higher education.  Not directly relevant to CAS, but a major education policy document nevertheless.

  • April 2011 Submission to the Curriculum Review (April 2011) - Copy of the joint BCS and CAS response to the review of the National Curriculum
  • April 2011 Chalk talk, the IntellectUK survey of 300 IT-savvy practitioners on their views on technology in schools.

  • <>March 2011</b> BCS (with CAS) E-Baccalaureate submission (Mar 2011) - Copy of joint BCS CAS submission to Education Select Committee on the proposed English Baccalaureate.
  • March 2011 The Wolf Report on vocational education.  Vocational education for 14-19 year olds should serve the purpose of creating and maintaining opportunities for all young people. This review makes a number of detailed recommendations to that end.

  • March 2011  Meeting technological challenges  An Ofsted report on the D&T curriculum, with some mention of ICT and control systems.

  • March 2011. Technology insights 2011, eSkills.  "e-skills UK has undertaken research into the UK?s IT & Telecoms workforce, technology trends, opportunities and challenges in order to deliver authoritative labour market intelligence which enables effective influence on policy, strategy and solution development. The resultant suite of publications, ?Technology Insights 2011?, for which this publication acts as a summary, sets out the current reality, forecasts the future based on the best available intelligence, and assesses the implications for the IT & Telecoms sector"

  • March 2011.  "STEM graduates in non-STEM jobs", executive summary (14 pages) and full report (294 pages), Department of Business Innovation and Skills. 

  • Feb 2011 Next Gen: Transforming the UK into the world's leading talent hub for the video games and video effects industry.  The Livingstone-Hope report of the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA).  Key recommendations vis a vis schools include
    • Computer Science should be on the National Curriculum alongside maths and physics
    • A GCSE in Computer Science should be introduced in all schools, and should be recognised within the new English Baccalaureate
    UK Culture minister Ed Vaizey responded "We need to make sure there's the option to do computer programming in schools. It's a vital skill for the 21st century."  Here's the Guardian's coverage

  • 2010: Microsoft Future Workforce study.  Presentation, and coverage in Computing and Teaching Times.

  • Dec 2010  It's not chalk and talk any more: school approaches to developing students' digital literacy, a FutureLab report.
    This document is the result of a nine-month research project investigating teacher and student experiences of school-based digital literacy interventions. It offers several short case studies which provide an overview of a number of different approaches to fostering students? digital literacy taken by schools around the country and it offers a thematic analysis of some of the issues involved in developing such approaches.

    Digital literacy is a complex and contested term. It is often understood as the ability to participate in a range of critical and creative practices that involve understanding, sharing and creating meaning with different kinds of technology and media.

  • Nov 2010, Aug 2009 BECTA report on Continuing Professional Development in ICT, which include quite a few recommendations for what works and what doesn't in CPD, as well as a summary of the state of play at the time.

  • Nov 2010 Uptake of ICT and Computing qualifications in schools in England, 2007-9, an authoritative report with lots of data, by Cambridge Assessment.  "The number of students taking ICT (information and communication technology) and computing related GCSE and A level qualifications has dropped in recent years, with a fall of 33% in just three years in ICT GCSE students, a fall of 33% in six years in A level ICT students and a fall of 57% in eight years in A level computing students in England"

  • Oct 2010 "Running on empty: the failure to teach K-12 computer science in the digital age".  By ACM and CSTA.  Somewhat US-centric, but plenty of useful insights and data.  Moreover they have launched Computing in the Core, a US-based advocacy group arguing that computing should be in the core curriculum.

  • Sept 2010.  The Fuse: Igniting High Growth for Creative, Digital and Information Technology Industries in the UKa report published by the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE). It has some nice case studies about the importance of computing/informatics/et cetera to the economy. It is biased, as befits its origins, to economic impact and career routes; this might of use to those of you in schools who want to discuss careers using informatics with students. Of particular interest is the material on page 10 of the report.

  • August 2010CAS White Paper The initial paper that proposed the formation of a national working group to give a single voice to confronting the challenges of computing in schools.

  • July 2010 A human capital crisis in cybersecurity: technical proficiency matters.  Centre for Strategic and International studies.  This USA report says "We not only have a shortage of the highly technically skilled people required to operate and support systems already deployed, but also an even more desperate shortage of people who can design secure systems, write safe computer code... Having the right number of people with the requisite technical skills matters and there are four elements of any strategy to deal with this challenge: Promote and fund the development of more rigorous curricula in our schools"

  • July 2010 The USA now has a national Computer Science Education Week.  Their home page has a useful "resources section" with good background data, curriculum information, and teaching resource.

  • Nov 2009 Computing at school: the state of the nation (Nov 2009) - A report of the Computing at School Working Group, for the UK Computing Research Committee.
  • October 2009 ICT for the UK's future.  A report by the Royal Academy of Engineering.
    • "There is an underlying confusion between IT as a fundamental life-skill and ?enabler? in the teaching of all subjects, and computing as a scientific discipline, with the present balance skewed towards teaching ?software use'. Students should be encouraged to explore what goes on behind the IT applications they use, from social networking and messaging tools, to computer graphics and computer games."
    • "It is essential that a significant proportion of the 14-19 age group understands computing concepts – programming, design, problem solving, usability, communications and hardware. It is of particular importance to reform the teaching curriculum in schools to differentiate between the learning of genuine IT and the use of IT. Understanding the basis of the subject is fundamental."

  • September 2009 Stronger together: Businesses and universities in turbulent times.  A CBI report on "What business wants from higher education", with data and commentary on STEM subjects. 

  • March 2009 The importance of ICT 2005/2008  The Ofsted report on ICT in schools.

  • Aug 2008 A Rationale for GCSE Computing (Aug 2008) - Why should there be a new GCSE in Computing? This document argues the case for creating a GCSE in Computing
  • 2008 Do undergraduates want a career in IT?  A survey of 1000 undergraduates, by CRAC, the Career Development Organisation.  Itfound that ?Although the majority were happy with their choice, only 11% of computing students felt that the discipline had been strongly promoted to them as a degree choice while at school and over 40% felt that it had received very little promotion there....  The computing students cited a number of reasons for their choice of degree course. The overwhelming majority of male students appeared to be driven by their personal interest or aptitude for computing (and a lower proportion, but still two thirds, of females).?

  • June 2008 A Study on the IT labour market in the UK  A report by the Council of Heads and Professors of Computing on the state of the labour market.  "At a time when the number of Higher Education students and graduations for ?All Subjects? is at a record high, Higher Education Computing student numbers and graduations are falling."

  • January 2008 Technology counts: IT & Telecoms Insights 2008, published by eSkills.  Page 75
    •  "The image of IT-related degrees and careers was that they would be repetitive, boring, and more-of-the-same; for example use of IT office applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and databases"
    • "The ICT GCSE had a major part to play in creating their (negative) impressions"

  • July 2006 Developing the future, a report on the challenges and opportunities facing the UK Software Development Industry. Sponsored by Microsoft, City University, the British Computer Society, and Intellect.
    • "With no GCSE in Computing or Computer Science (only the GCSE in ICT which is not about the subject of computing" learning to use a computer and learning Computer Science become indistinguishable as far as students are concerned.  The skew in emphasis has a direct bearing on a student's view of the IT industry; one that results in many negative perceptions."
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