Computer science part of English Baccalaureate

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Computer science is going to become part of the English Baccalaureate and will be included as one of the science options that count towards this measure.

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) requires pupils to get good GCSE grades in English, maths, sciences, history or geography and a language.

The decision by Education Secretary Michael Gove will mean that computing will count as a science in the English Baccalaureate for secondary school league tables from January 2014 - alongside physics, chemistry, biology and pupils taking double science.

The Department for Education says the change is intended to reflect the importance of computer science to both education and the economy.

Stian Westlake, executive director of policy and research, Nesta, said: "The addition of computer science to the E-Bacc is a triumph for students, schools and the industries that increasingly demand robust and advanced computational skills. This announcement opens a world of opportunities for the next generation. Further still, we hope that it not only inspires those considering the E-Bacc, but that improves the overall quality of computer science teaching and student involvement in creating, not just consuming, digital technology."

There have been several lobbying campaigns to add further subjects to the English Baccalaureate - including arts and religious education - with concerns that subjects outside this group could be marginalised.

Computer science will be the first extra subject to be added. The subject is being offered by the OCR and AQA exam boards.

Charlotte Christie, Qualifications manager at AQA, said: "We’re really pleased to see that  Computer Science will be part of the EBacc – this will give students essential skills that are so critical in our ever competitive global market.

"Last year we launched our own Computer Science GCSE.  It’s the first if its kind where students can design for web, gaming and mobile devices – so that really meets the Department for Education’s desire for children to be able to write computer code."

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