This year's Heads of Computing event took place on Friday at Caledonian University in Glasgow. This annual conference is an important date in the team's calendar since it's part of the way we work with colleges, and provides an opportunity to meet with teachers and lecturers.
The event was fully booked and there was an excellent turnout on the day. Most of the attendees were promoted staff from colleges, although some school teachers also attended.
The reason for having the event at this time of the year is to help centres with their planning for next year. I've been advised that this is the time of the year when colleges think about the courses they will offer next year, and a lot of the time at the event is spent discussing new qualifications that centres may want to offer. In fact, the agenda covered a wide range of topics including the Curriculum for Excellence, the new awards in Mobile Technology, and the on-going HN Review. This year, for the first time, we opened the event with a keynote speaker. Polly Purvis, from ScotlandIS, spoke about trends in computing, which seemed to be very well received. So much so that I plan to include a keynote every year.
The event has evolved from what it used to be, and the title ("Heads of Computing event") probably does not represent the people who actually attend so I will be thinking about a better title for next year's event. Perhaps "Vocational Computer Education Conference" is better (if longer). Feel free to use the comment facility if you have any ideas for a title.
The event seemed to go well but I'll let you be the judge of that since everyone who attended will be asked to complete a short questionnaire about the event. But you get a sense for how things go and this seemed to go very well.
The Heads of Computing event is part of the overall engagement strategy with colleges and schools, along with the Sector Panel, QSTs, QDTs and other committees and working groups. Please contact me if you want to know more about working with SQA.