NCCE's Chair celebrates the achievements of the first 1,000 CS Accelerator graduates

02 October 2020

Congratulations to the first 1,000 teachers to have completed the Computer Science Accelerator, from the NCCE’s Chair, Prof Simon Peyton Jones, who has praised them for helping “to make the world a better place.”

“You are helping to equip our young people with skills and knowledge that will make them empowered citizens and with opportunities for better jobs. You are making the world a better place,” says Simon in his short ‘graduation’ speech recorded for the first 1,000 teachers.

Watch the full video here, and read the full text of his speech below:


Congratulations!  You are one of more than a thousand teachers who have successfully completed the NCCE’s Computer Science Accelerator course.

When CAS first started making the case that every child should learn computer science as a foundational subject, as they do maths and natural science, many people said; “There’s no point: we just don’t have the teachers”.

But you are proving them wrong.  By actively engaging with computing, both as a practically-useful and rewarding subject, and as a deep and rich discipline (again like natural science) you are contributing to a seismic change in the way that we think about computing as a school subject.   In doing so, I believe that we will equip our young people with skills and knowledge that will make them empowered citizens, more in control of their own destinies, and with opportunities for better jobs.  You are making the world a better place.

But it is not easy.  You had to work hard to get this certificate, but it is only a step (albeit big step) on the journey that we are undertaking together, to provide true excellence in computing education.  Computing is a young school subject, our pedagogy is still developing, girls are shamefully under-represented, and senior leaders have much else on their radar. And as I speak, you are grappling with the complexities of starting a new school year in the age of Covid.

As a parent, as a computing professional, and as chair of the NCCE, I am, truly, humbled and grateful for your dedication and professionalism. But in the midst the daily hurly burly of school life, please do not lose sight of the big story of which you are a part.   We are not ticking boxes.  We are shaping the future of computing education.  Please share that vision, be an active part of the Computing at School community, and help us, together, to offer an education to our children of which we can be truly proud.

Professor Peyton Jones is a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the BCS, granted for his work to advance the development of computer science education in the UK. He is an Honorary Professor of the Computing Science Department at Glasgow University, where he was a professor in the 1990s, and he is currently a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research.

He is also chair of the National Centre for Computing Education and Computing at School, the grassroots organisation that was at the centre of the 2014 reform of the computing curriculum, which has a membership of over 30,000 computing teachers and academics.