Computer science will be included in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) as one of the measures for science to create a nation of active creators rather than passive users of computer technology.
In 2015, the EBacc is set to replace the current GCSE examination system in five core subjects – English, maths, a science, a foreign language and either history or geography. Students wishing to take subjects outside of the EBacc will continue to take GCSEs until new syllabuses for other subjects are constructed.
Computer science will be one of the science options measured.
"We need to bring computational thinking into our schools," said a Department for Education spokesperson.
"Having Computer Science in the EBacc will have a big impact on schools over the next decade. It will mean millions of children learning to write computer code so they are active creators and controllers of technology instead of just being passive users. It will be great for education, great for the economy, and will help restore the spirit of Alan Turing and make Britain a world leader again," the spokesperson said.
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Vint Cerf – the founding father of the internet – recently backed a call from the BCS for computer science to be included in the English Baccalaureate.
Kevin Jones, head of computer science at City University London, said the move was positive, providing recognition that computer science represents a new way of thinking.
“It is a very appropriate skill for the next generation. It is one of the fundamentals to algorithmic thinking and applied logic in a real-world situation,” he said.
Last year, education secretary Michael Gove announced he was replacing the ICT curriculum in schools. He said the government was to scrap the teaching of the GCSE ICT curriculum in schools from September 2012, with plans to replace the subject with the “rigorous” teaching of computer science and programming subjects.