The Computing Quality Framework (CQF)

13 January 2022

Teachers frequently tell us about the need for a whole school approach to computing, supported by the school’s senior leadership. The NCCE’s new resource, the Computing Quality Framework (CQF) is now available to help schools to plan and deliver high quality computing education.

The CQF is a free, easy-to-use online tool that helps primary and secondary schools to review, develop, and monitor their computing curriculum, identifying strengths and areas for development. It provides a pathway for aspirational schools to move towards innovative computing provision.

Automated reports help school leaders keep track of progress and, and direct links to the NCCE’s free resources and support, help busy teachers to save time. Schools can be supported through the process by the NCCE’s national network of Computing Hubs based at 34 schools across England.

Schools that have reached the benchmark level for all seven aspects of the framework, can apply for the NCCE Computing Quality Mark, awarded by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, which recognises and celebrates the school’s progress.

Claire Garside, senior lead facilitator at the NCCE, explained more.

"The CQF gives schools the strategic oversight to ensure all their students receive the computing skills and knowledge they need for the future,” she said.
"We have easy-to-follow resources and schools can access support via our Computing Hubs. We’re delighted to have developed the CQF which supports schools to provide top-quality computing education and recognises and celebrates their success."

The CQF provides:

  • A process for identifying strengths and weaknesses in the school’s computing curriculum.
  • Links to the NCCE’s resources that will help your school make progress.

Its benefits include:

  • immediate feedback and suggested actions to help your school develop its computing curriculum.
  • A log of sources of evidence, comments and action points within your account.
  • easily compile and print a wide range of reports for sharing with Ofsted and governors.
  • compare and benchmark your responses with other schools.

A school’s progress through the CQF is tracked via self-assessment and automated reports which help busy teachers to save time. It also provides opportunities to involve the whole school and look at digital skills and across subject areas.

Following the CQF’s pilot phase in autumn 2021, over 200 schools across England are now using the CQF to evaluate their computing education.

One of those is Vale Academy in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, which has now been recognised with an NCCE Computing Quality Mark.

Teacher Damien Burrin said;

"The CQF is a great initiative. Other subjects have a subject mark to show they deliver a high-quality curriculum. I know we deliver a good curriculum that supports our local needs and enables students to achieve at the highest standard.
"It’s nice to have the opportunity to have this recognised and hopefully it will encourage more students to complete a Computing based qualification. It also gave us the opportunity to self-evaluate, take stock of what we do and how we do it and adjust our approaches to ensure they remain valid and relevant.”

To find out more about the CQF, visit