Computer Science Accelerator Programme

The Computer Science Accelerator Programme from the National Centre for Computing Education is designed to support secondary teachers of computing or computer science without a post A level qualification in computer science or a related subject1Computing lesson

A comprehensive programme of subject knowledge enhancement, the Computer Science Accelerator Programme is designed to give you confidence across the whole GCSE computer science curriculum. Whether you are already teaching at this level, or have plans to do so, this highly personalised professional development programme can help you identify and remedy any gaps in your knowledge. 

If you don’t hold a post A level qualification in computer science, we have made it easy for you to engage with the programme. Access to all the CPD is free* and bursaries are available that will meet the costs of supply cover, helping you to attend four days of face-to-face CPD. There are additional early adopter bursaries available for a limited period. 

See FAQs for further details about bursaries.

 

How does it work?

To gain a nationally recognised certificate demonstrating your subject knowledge, you will need to complete 40 hours of CPD, including at least two face-to-face courses. Following this, you will take a short GCSE-level test – you will have the opportunity to re-take the test and access to additional CPD to further improve your subject knowledge.

To take full advantage of the financial support available, you will:

  1. Book and attend at least two face-to-face courses. Eligible teachers will receive a bursary after completing the first two courses, and you’re welcome to attend the rest for free.
  2. Participate in at least two online courses, around 16 hours in total.
  3. Register for and take the short subject knowledge test. After this, you will receive a bursary to compensate the time you’ve taken to complete the online components. 

We anticipate it will take up to six months to complete the programmeElements of the programme are still being developed with the full offer available in due course. 

If you are eligible for a bursary, this will be paid in stages after completion of each of the two face-to-face CPD activities, with a third payment after sitting the final test. 

Face-to-face CPD 

Each face-to-face CPD lasts two days. These are currently only available at the National STEM Learning Centre in York, but we will soon be releasing dates at venues across England. 

  • Python Programming


    The level of programming skill required for GCSE may seem daunting to those without a programming background. This professional development aims to take you from novice programmer to competent teacher of Python programming.


    Find out more and book online

  • Algorithms


    An understanding of algorithms is fundamental to success in computer science. To reach their full potential, students of GCSE computer science need to be confident in using decomposition and abstraction to solve problems. This course centres on the core search and sort algorithms; exploring how they manipulate data.

    Find out more and book online

  • Data and computer systems


    Computer programs are written in a language that humans understand, but what about the computer itself? Every piece of software and the instructions and data it contains is made up of 1’s and 0’s pushed around the parts of a computer system. This course opens the box, looking at the components of a computer.

    Find out more and book online

  • Networks and cybersecurity


    Networked computers and cybersecurity issues are the focus of this professional development. Gain comprehensive knowledge of the hardware and software systems that comprise networks, including the globally connected systems forming the internet. We will demystify the numerous protocols, network topologies and key applications used for data transfer between computers.

    Find out more and book online

By clicking on these links you will be taken to the STEM Learning website where bookings for this CPD are currently being taken.

Online CPD

As part of the Computer Science Accelerator Programme, a range of free, online professional courses are available, created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and hosted by FutureLearn. 

Already available online:Online learning

• Object-oriented programming in Python: create your own adventure game 

• How computers work: demystifying computation

• Programming 101: an introduction to Python for educators 

• Teaching physical computing with Raspberry Pi and Python

Another 16 online courses will be available in due course to make up the full programme.

Find out more

FAQs

  • How much does it cost?
    *The CSA programme and its face-to-face CPD activities are free to secondary teachers of computing or computer science, in an English state maintained or state-funded school, without a post A level qualification in computer science or a related subject. Examples of ‘related subjects’ include Information Systems, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence and Health Informatics. Post A level qualifications in computing or ICT are not considered ‘related subjects’. Anybody who meets these criteria is also eligible to receive a bursary. For all other participants the course fee is £220 per day; £440 per two-day course. Online CPD is free to all teachers.

    Can I get a bursary?
    As access to all the CPD is free to eligible teachers, the bursaries available are there to contribute towards the costs of supply cover, helping you to attend four days of face-to-face CPD and to help you allocate time to online CPD.

    Bursaries are available to secondary teachers of computing or computer science, in an English state maintained or state-funded school, without a post A level qualification in computer science or a related subject (see above). 

    If you are eligible you will receive:

    • £220 per day (£440 per course) up to a maximum of £880, payable after successful completion of each face-to-face CPD activity
    • an early adopter bursary of £870 for online CPD and sitting the final test by the 31 July 2019, payable on completion of the programme

    Bursaries exist to support you through 40 hours of CPD to complete the CS Accelerator programme. If you don’t complete the programme, we reserve the right to reclaim any bursaries paid.

    What’s the catch? 
    There isn’t one! You just need to commit to complete the programme and keep us updated with progress. We will let you know the next steps to help you along the way to certification. All teachers must take and complete the final test and attend at least two face-to-face courses as part of the programme.   

    What’s next after I complete this? 
    Once you have successfully completed the programme, you will receive a nationally recognised certificate demonstrating your computer science subject knowledge. This also provides a pathway to chartered status should you wish to pursue this further. 

  • National Centre for Computing Education

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A secondary teacher of computing or computer science without a post A level qualification in computer science or a related subject. Examples of ‘related subjects’ include Information Systems, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence and Health Informatics. For clarity, in this context, post A level qualifications in computing or ICT are not considered ‘related subjects’.