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BCS calls for computer science EBacc in GCSE reforms

20 Nov 2012
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The British Computer Society (BCS) has asked the government to give computer science a higher status in its GCSE reforms for 14 to 16-year olds.

Education secretary Michael Gove is currently reforming the whole education system, both the national curriculum and the GCSE system.

While Gove is driving radical change in the IT curriculum for five to 14-year olds, there has been little clarity as to what will happen to the study of IT and computer science in the new English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBaccs) system.

The EBCs, which are hyped as modern day O-levels, will replace GCSEs in core subjects, first English and maths and then sciences and modern foreign languages. The first EBCs will be sat in 2017 and are expected to be more challenging and a better assessment of pupil's abilities than GCSEs.

At the moment it appears that the subject of computer science, along with the likes of music, drama and religious education, will still continue as a GCSE, a system that has been heavily criticised by Gove.

However the BCS is campaigning for computer science to be included in the EBC reforms.

"A new computer science EBacc should be developed as soon as possible," said the BCS on its website.

"It is feasible and desirable to develop a computer science EBacc qualification that could be introduced at the same time as the other EBaccs."

According to the BCS, if computer science is not given EBacc status, the subject will be less respected by students and teachers.

"The EBacc was created precisely in order to incentivise schools to offer and resource subjects that the government considers to be important, and are in danger of being avoided because the subjects are considered too rigorous and challenging," said the BCS.

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