I've had a look through the 'Subject Content' bullet points for computing at KS3 and made a few brief comments on the practicality of teaching each of those strands in a secondary school today.
Overall, this is quite an interesting move towards a more programming orientated
There are lots of good things in here, and a desire to have our society as a world leader in computing is something few would argue against.
There are however two problems.
One, is down to us teachers to solve - how to motivate the students to want to learn about programming. Many students are genuinely interested in finding out how things work, but given the choice of teaching programming or graphics, graphics would definitely be the easy option. Having said that, I've had to teach Access Databases for years, so this problem is nothing new.
The biggest problem I can see is staff expertise. I can't think of many of my colleagues who have ever written a proper program in any real programming language. There will be many schools and colleges that have no expertise at all in this area. It's really important therefore that if the government wants to make a good job of this, that they invest heavily in training up teachers to teach computing properly. Scheme's such as this one, whilst good for the headlines aren't really that great - 500 newly trained computer science teachers in a country with 3.6 million secondary students makes a class ratio of 1:7200!
I'm behind the changes in principle, but practically speaking, this is going to cause a lot of problems in most secondary schools. However, with enough investment in terms of time and money, this could be the start of something really good for this country.