Education Secretary Michael Gove praised OCR's "pioneering" work in the field of computer science qualifications at a major educational technology event in London in January.
During a keynote speech at the opening of BETT 2012, Mr Gove announced the scrapping of the ICT curriculum and withdrawal of the Programme of Study from September 2012. ICT will remain a compulsory part of the National Curriculum, pending the National Curriculum review. The Education Secretary said he was keen for high-quality qualifications in computer science to be developed, and OCR was identified as a pioneer in this field.
OCR, which was the first awarding body to offer a computing GCSE, also launched its new Cambridge Nationals in ICT qualifications at BETT 2012. These incorporate the recommendations of the Wolf Report and will feature on the updated list of qualifications that will be included in the Department for Education’s future secondary school Performance Tables, which is due to be published in March.
OCR Chief Executive Mark Dawe, who also addressed education leaders at BETT, welcomed the Education Secretary’s comments which he said "re-enforces the approach we have been taking for some time." He continued: "As well as GCSE in computing, the new Cambridge Nationals in ICT qualifications contain strong elements of programming.
OCR consulted industry leaders, teachers and training providers during the development of Cambridge Nationals to ensure that the vocational qualifications - in science, sport, health and social care, and business - focus on the skills and knowledge expected by future employers and places of study.