Simon Peyton Jones, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, will chair the organisation charged with promoting computer science in England’s schools.
Peyton Jones is known for his work on the Haskell programming language and is an honorary professor of the computing science department at Glasgow University. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society and chair of Computing in Schools, an organisation with more than 30,000 computing teacher and academic members. He joined Microsoft Research in Cambridge in 1998.
“The National Centre offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to firmly establish computer science as a foundational subject discipline that will enable all our young people to be active participants in the complex digital world that surrounds them,” he said.
The National Centre for Computing Education, announced in November 2018, is backed by £84 million in funding from the Department for Education. Its work is delivered by Stem Learning, which provides educational support for science, technology, engineering and mathematics; the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which manages the low-cost computer, and BCS, the chartered institute for IT.
The centre plans to operate through a network of up to 40 school-led computing hubs which will provide training and resources to primary and secondary schools. It will also provide intensive training for secondary teachers without a post A-Level qualification in computer science, and develop an A-level programme to better prepare students for further study and digital jobs. It will work with the University of Cambridge with a further £1 million from Google.
Image: from Microsoft