A few days ago the Guardian published an article stating that "the UK's attitude to computer education needs a reboot" lamenting the lack of computing education in schools and saying that if this is not urgently corrected then the UK will suffer economically in the future. The article was not unique as many other similar articles and blog posts have been written along the same lines but sometimes I feel that such articles just feed into fears about the standards in the education system and the UK's place in the world and offer little in the way of practical direction. Yet there is hope - if we confront the issues and acknowledge the vital role of lifelong learning as well as computing education in schools.
The eighth of July 1989 was quite a proud day for me. On that day I was handed a certificate to mark my participation in the national finals of the British Computer Society (BCS) Schools Computing Quiz. Our team had demonstrated a knowledge of technology (which is now probably in museums) that was almost on a par with the team that won. It was also the last time I remember having any contact with the BCS, despite the fact I work in IT full time and have done for quite a while. This is not due to any bad feeling, I remember everybody I met from the BCS as being very nice, it's just that somehow over the years the BCS faded into the background. Now I read that the BCS is “in crisis”.