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Education Secretary Michael Gove praised OCR's "pioneering work" in the field of computer science qualifications, at a major educational technology event in London this week. OCR is currently the only awarding body to offer a Computing GCSE.
During a keynote speech at the opening of BETT 2012, Gove announced the scrapping of the ICT curriculum and withdrawal of the Programme of Study from September 2012. ICT will remain a compulsory part of the National Curriculum, pending the National Curriculum review.
The Education Secretary said he was keen for high-quality qualifications in Computer Science to be developed. OCR was identified as a pioneer in this field.
OCR Chief Executive Mark Dawe, who also addressed education leaders at BETT, commented: "OCR welcomes the Education Secretary’s latest comments which re-enforces the approach we have been taking for some time. As well as our GCSE in Computing, the new Cambridge Nationals in ICT qualifications contain strong elements of programming."
OCR formally launched its GCSE in Computing in September 2011, after a one year pilot. The rigorous qualification was designed to meet demand for a qualification that gave students an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and an opportunity to investigate computer programming, including algorithms. It aims to prepare learners for progression to OCR’s A Level in Computing.
Simon Peyton Jones, Chair of the Computing at School Working Group (CAS), commented: "OCR deserves considerable credit for taking the initiative in developing the first Computing GCSE, back in 2010. Encouraged by the Secretary of State, I hope that other awarding bodies will follow suit, so that we have a broad range of Computer Science qualifications at Key Stage 4, much as we do in Science or ICT."
Further details of OCR's Computing qualifications.