A group of children in a classroom setting learning science and technology subjects.

The future of Science and technology in the Welsh education system

The Challenge

Professor Crick’s research stems from a national and international scrutiny of the Welsh education system. He is primarily recognised internationally for leading the reforms of science and technology education in Wales over a sustained period (2011-present), as well as his research in computer science education.

The method

Building on previous work as an inaugural member of the Welsh Government’s National Digital Learning Council (2012-2016), Professor Crick was appointed to co-chair the independent review of the ICT curriculum (2013), whose recommendations directly influenced the 2015 independent review of curriculum and assessment, resulting in major changes to science, ICT, and cross-curricular digital skills.

As part of the major Curriculum for Wales reforms, Professor Crick was appointed to chair the development of the “Science & Technology” area of learning and experience in the new Curriculum for Wales (2017-2020). The new Curriculum for Wales was published in January 2020, to start from September 2022.

Related to this role, Professor Crick was appointed as the chair of the National Network of Excellence in Science & Technology (NNEST), a £4m strategic investment by the welsh government to support the professional development of practitioners in this key area of the new Curriculum for Wales (2017-2019). This has directly contributed to the development of a new national strategy for educational research and enquiry.

The Impact

  • Professor Crick supported the Royal Society’s two major reviews of computing education (in 2012 and 2017), which contributed to major ICT curriculum reform in England in 2014, as well as £84m funding from the Department for Education in 2018 to set up the National Centre for Computing Education.
  • Collaborating with the Technocamps project at Swansea University, to support learners and practitioners, as well as extensive public engagement work to change perceptions around computer science.
  • In addition to his curriculum reform work, he led Qualification Wales’ review of qualifications in the ICT sector in Wales (2018). This work has culminated in the development of new GCSEs and A-Levels in Digital Technology, to start from september 2021.
  • Professor Crick was appointed MBE in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours for “services to computer science and the promotion of computer science education” and was made a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2020.

Swansea University Research Themes