Computer Science added to list of EBacc qualification options

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Computer science GCSEs from OCR and AQA will now count towards the English Baccalaureate, the education secretary has confirmed.

The subject has been added to the list of science options, meaning there are now four separate sciences that count towards the EBacc.

Pupils who sit any three of the four, and get a C or higher in at least two, will have “achieved” the EBacc.

A statement from the Department for Education (DfE) said: “The GCSEs in computer science from OCR and AQA will count towards the EBacc in performance tables. 

“If other exam boards develop GCSEs that the British Computer Society (BCS) and Royal Society think are sufficiently high quality, then the Department for Education will include them too.”

Bill Mitchell, director of the BCS Academy of Computing, said: “Adding computer science as an option to the EBacc sends a clear message to every school, every pupil and every parent in the country that this is a rigorous science-based subject that is essential to the future of the UK.”

A DfE spokesperson added: “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.” 

OCR and AQA both welcomed the announcement. OCR launched its GCSE in computing in 2010 and has more than 4,000 entries for this summer. AQA is in the first year of its Computer Science GCSE and has 231 schools signed up to teach the course so far.


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