arrowrightarrowleftComputers in Schools and LEAs


Work in Progress - Needs to be completed. Need more on ILECC.


Computer Education in Schools

Not surprisingly the earliest focus for the use of computers in schools was actually learning about computers and during the early seventies both Computer Studies at O level and CSE, and Computer Science at A level were introduced into the curriculum. As Esterson (1983, p.186) says this was done not because it was a distinct disciple, "but because teaching children about computers is believed to be important."

Of particular importance was the connection of remote access terminals in schools to distant computers. A typical project was the one which used the North Staffordshire polytechnic where by 1970 almost 1,000 children from thirty schools were enthusiastically learning about computers (Jackson, 1970, p.68) via the use of remote terminals. This usage continued to expand throughout the early seventies. In ILEA for instance ...

Computer Advisers and Inspectors

Local Authorities were responsible for supporting their schools in curriculum development and teacher training and some responded by appointing computer advisers, alongside their other subject advisers. Derek Esterson was appointed in London (ILEA) and Bill Tagg in Hertfordshire and Bill Broderick in Havering. Bryan Weaver as the first to focus on primary for ILEA. Joined later

steve bacon

Steve Bacon

Steve Bacon in Derbyshire (1981), Tony Richardson in Birmingham, Ian Birnbaum in Humberside, Mike Rumble in Northamtonshire.


Examination Courses

Two examination boards, the Associated Examination Board(AEB) and the Oxford Board, offered syllabuses for Computing Science as an examined subject at G.C.E. 'A' level (Jackson, 1970, p.68) and was examined for the first time in 1969 (Schools Council 1969 p.6)





















ICL Computer Education in Schools


ICL CES Computer Studies

Steve Bacon's description (TES, 2005) of his evolution into a Computer Adviser for Derbyshire provides a good insight into the early developments of computer education in schools. He was head of maths at Wood Green School in Witney and attended a one-day course on the use of computers given by IT company ICL. This stimulated him to write a CSE (Mode 3) computer studies syllabus, one of the first in the country." He employed material from ICL's Computer Education in Schools project (CES), and in 1974 joined them full time, developing new resources focused on processing information rather than number-crunching.



reference - ICL CES course here

There is a fascinating account from 1974 of a group of able pupils aged 10-14 being taught computer programming.


Esterson D., ( 1983) Computer Studies and Computer Education' in J. Megarry D. Walker (eds.) World Yearbook of Education 1982/3 Routledge

Jackson, H.L.W. (1970) 'Expansion of the BCS-Computer Education Group' in World Conference on Computer Education 1970 [online]

TES (2005)' Convictions' Times Educational Supplement 04 March 2005 [online]

Liebmann, S (1971) Computers in education The Guardian (1959-2003); Oct 21, 1971

Schools Council 1969 Technology and the Schools: Schools Council Working Paper No. 18 [online]