Press Release - New expert body on computing education established - 12th December 2013

Please see the latest press release from Naace below.

Naace welcomes the establishment of UKForCE by the RAEng and is pleased to be involved from the initial stages through Mark Chambers  (CEO Naace) and Bob Harrison (Naace Fellow).

Bob and Mark, on behalf of Naace, have welcomed the RAEng initiative and the clear willingness to include messages of balance not only in the curriculum. It is our view that this area, more than any other aspect of the National curriculum, should be constantly under review not least because of the pace of change both in technology and in society. In this way we will see future Alan Turings and young people of superior digital literacy skills and massive creativity empowered by their IT Skills.

Mark said "The importance of Computing in its widest sense to the UK  economy cannot be overstated; it is imperative that we achieve  identification with this from the wider UK community and that learners  are offered a real and a relevant experience of Computing throughout  their schooling." We believe this can be demonstrated in the Naace 3rd  Millennium Learning Schools  and we encourage readers to raise awareness of this Award with schools suggesting that they get involved.

Link to

The UK Forum for Computing Education (UKForCE) 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.

The expert body has been established in response to the recommendation from the Royal Society - Royal Academy of Engineering  report Shutdown or restart: the way forward for computing in UK schools published in 2012, 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.

Chris Mairs FREng, 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.”

Bob Harrison, Toshiba Education Advisor, chair of a sector-led expert group  and member of the UKForCE steering committee said: “Computing, in all its incarnations, is today one of the pillars of business and society; whether it’s digital literacy and basic software use, management of data and networks or advanced coding. We must ensure that young people of all abilities across the UK have opportunities to learn and be inspired by all aspects of computing education in schools.

“For UK businesses to flourish and for the UK to be an IT innovation leader not a follower, we need a fundamental change in the way that computing is taught in schools. Through UKForCE, we want to make sure the delivery of computing education in UK schools does not become mechanical and uninspiring, causing pupils to shun the subject when they move into work or choosing further education.”

Simon Peyton Jones, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, chair of Computing at School (CAS) and member of the UKForCE steering group said: “In too many schools, computing has been reduced to teaching how to use basic software packages and word-processing. As the Royal Society’s report suggest, we need to ‘restart’ the way it is taught and bring back passion and rigour to it.  We need to generate the same enthusiasm for computing that the BBC Micro brought about in the 80s and that got so many people into programming and brought the UK to the forefront of computer science.

“That way we may soon see another Alan Turing emerging from our schools.”


Notes for Editors

  1. Royal Society-Royal Academy of Engineering: Shutdown or restart: the way forward for computing in UK schools report can be found at:
  2.  The current members of the UK Forum for Computing Education are:
  • Chris Mairs FREng, Metaswitch Networks
  • Andy Connell, Keele University
  • Bob Harrison, Toshiba Information Systems (UK)
  • Simon Peyton Jones, Microsoft
  • Bill Mitchell, BCS The Chartered Institute for IT
  • Liz Bacon, Greenwich University
  • Theo Blackwell, NextGen.Skills
  • Mark Chambers, NAACE
  • Debbie Forster, Apps for Good
  • Quintin Cutts, Glasgow University
  • Tom Crick, Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Sue Nieland, E-Skills
  • Rhys Morgan, Royal Academy of Engineering

 3. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering.

We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place  to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.

For more information please contact: Giorgio De Faveri at The Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 020 7766 0655; email:

4. Naace Third Milleannium Learning AwardThe aim of the 3rd Millennium Learning Award is to enable schools to demonstrate how they are providing an education fit for the 21st century. It celebrates schools' achievements in creating an environment and curriculum that stimulate more and better learning, making full use of the opportunities presented by technology.

This is a peer-referenced Award, with no set criteria, as schools enable their pupils to experience 3rd Millennium Learning in very diverse ways. Judgement of the submissions by schools for the Award is made by a ‘college’ of schools that have already gained the Award and the Award Steering Group comprised of 3rd Millennium Learning Guides. The Guides are Naace members who have demonstrated understanding of the 'Dimensions’ of 3rd Millennium Learning approaches, by review of a range of both primary and secondary schools that have gained the Award.

Naace hopes and expects that by sharing the experiences of schools that the extent and quality of 3rd Millennium Learning and the significantly raised achievement of pupils that results will spread and grow.

Press Release - New expert body on computing education established - 12th December 2013
Please see the latest press release from Naace below.