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Consultations on the Ofqual Subject Critera for A level Computing

Consultations on the Ofqual Subject Critera for A level Computing

Simon Peyton Jones

Created by Simon Peyton Jones
last edited Mar 09 2015 by Bruce Nightingale



Phase 1a: July 2013: the Smith Report

Professor Mark Smith chaired a working party on A level reform. Here is his report.

Phase 1b: May/June 2013

At the same time, Ofqual ran an informal consultation with awarding bodies, about whether the Subject Criteria for GCE (A level) Computing was fit for purpose. Specifically, they wanted a view from the awarding bodies about whether it needs (a) no change, (b) minor revision, or (c) significant revision. Certainly in the case of (c) Ofqual will conduct a second, more formal consultation.

The awarding bodies were encouraged to consult stakeholders, and Pearson (OCR) did indeed consult CAS, via me. We were only given a week for a quick view. I started this discussion thread on CAS Online, got some useful feedback, and wrote this response:

Phase 2: Oct-Dec 2013

Ofqual and DfE ran a pair of public consultations on the A/AS level subject criteria, described in more detail here.

A CAS working party developed response to both consultations:

We recommended substantial revision, but expressed the strong belief that this revision could be done quickly.

Phase 3: Feb 2014

There was a brief but intense period of revision of the subject criteria, involving informal interaction between the CAS working party and the awarding organisations.

Result: April 2014

The DfE announced

As part of the review, the A/AS level was re-titled from “Computing” to “Computer Science”, to reflect the terminology used in the new curriculum.


February 2015

Ofqual consulted on the proposed regulations and guidance for the design, delivery and award of new computer science GCSE. A CAS working party developed a response to the consultation:

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