Microsoft researcher will lead UK's National Centre for Computing Education
Simon Peyton Jones will head up a strategy to change the way computing is taught in schools
Professor Simon Peyton Jones has been appointed as chair of the new National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE), with his mission being to improve the way computing is taught to children and develop childhood interest in the subject.
Professor Peyton Jones' experience lends itself exceptionally well to the role. His work on developing the C-- programming language makes him an expert in the field, alongside the vocational roles he has previously held in addition to his current role as Microsoft's principle researcher.
"This appointment reflects the Government's determination to make sure pupils are computer literate and versed in the fundamentals of computer science and computer programming," said School Standards Minister Nick Gibb.
"Professor Peyton Jones brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role. This will be vital in making sure the centre, which is backed by a consortium made up of some of the country's most accomplished tech organisations, is able to train teachers in the latest digital skills."
Peyton Jones is committed to promoting computer science as an academic discipline and will work closely with education experts at schools, colleges and universities to highlight the need for youngsters to learn computing as early as possible.
In partnership with STEM Learning, the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, plus 84 million of government funding, the NCCE will provide resources to 40 school-led "hubs" around the country, including teacher training in primary and secondary schools.
"The National Centre offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to firmly establish computer science as a foundational subject discipline that will enable all our young people to be active participants in the complex digital world that surrounds them," added Professor Peyton Jones.
"I am delighted to have a role in translating the big vision of the new computing curriculum into a vibrant reality in every classroom in the country."