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Concerns about computing GCSE

Male Elementary Pupil In Computer Class With Teacher

The University of Roehampton has released its annual computing education report which outlines the number of pupils who achieved GCSE A-level and computing qualifications in the previous year (2017).  The move to teach computing as a science rather than IT might seem a logical move to take, but we are seeing a change in the kind of students that the course is attracting.

In particular, the new courses are of less interest to girls. The report highlights that in 25 LAs all the computer science (CS) entries come from boys. At GCSE level only 20% of entries are from girls, and at A-level, it’s only 10%. The Roehampton Computing Education report claims that; ‘the typical CS student is academically strong, mathematically able, likely to be taking triple science (despite CS counting as a science for the EBacc), from a relatively affluent family, and overwhelmingly likely to be male’.

The Chartered Institute for IT is concerned about the findings and the gap there is between those taking CS as a subject and the number of specialists that will be needed in the workplace. As an alternative, it is suggested that IT might be still offered as an alternative in some form. For example, by offering a computing GCSE that includes CS, IT and digital literacy elements.

The Roehampton Annual Computing Education Report can be seen at https://bit.ly/2Ki4hL0.