The UK computing education landscape: next steps

Keynote by Julia Adamson MBE

Julia Adamson’s biography

Julia Adamson

  • Managing Director, Education and Public Benefit at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
  • FBCS (Fellow of the British Computer Society)

Julia’s mission at BCS is to give every young person the digital skills they need to succeed in life and work. Under her leadership, the Computing at School (CAS) teachers’ network has grown in influence and now has over 25,000 teacher members. BCS’s Barefoot scheme, which supports primary teachers with learning materials and lesson plans, has so far reached 3.3 million children across the UK.

Julia played a lead role in establishing and managing the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE), an £84 million government-funded programme to upskill teachers to deliver world-class education in computing in schools. In 2023, Julia was awarded an MBE, for Services to Education.

Julia is a Trustee of The Blackdown Education Partnership, a Multi Academy Trust, in Mid-Devon. Julia began her career in education 26 years ago as a teacher in Cheshire. In 2006, she joined the Liverpool-based company, MGL, developing her vision for technology in schools, and how it could transform outcomes for learners. She joined the Exeter-based South-West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) in 2009, supporting its work on online safety and education. In 2017, Julia joined the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and after holding a number of leadership roles, she is now Managing Director, Education and Public Benefit.

Keynote: AI in Education – Watershed or Quagmire

By Professor Deirdre Butler, Institute of Education, Dublin City University

Professor Deirdre Butler

Deirdre Butler is a Full Professor at the Institute of Education, Dublin City University (DCU). Her passion in life is exploring what being digital in learning can mean and what skills or competencies are needed to live and thrive in today’s complex globally connected world.

Deirdre is internationally recognised in the field of digital learning, particularly for the design and development of sustainable, scalable models of teacher professional learning. This is demonstrated through her work with the Innovative Schools Evaluation, TeachNet, Innovative Teaching and Learning Research, New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, STInt (STEM Teacher Internship) and ATS-STEM. She consistently works across a broad range of stakeholders in education, technology, government, corporate and non-profit sectors.

From 2015 to 2020, Deirdre played a key role in developing the Digital Strategy for Schools, as well as the Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027. She is currently an advisor to the Irish Department of Education and Skills as they implement the Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027 and was a member of the EU Expert Group on AI in Education that recently launched the “Ethical guidelines on the use of artificial intelligence and data in teaching and learning for Educators.”

She is also involved in the European AI4T (AI for Teachers) project involving 5 countries (France, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg and Slovenia) as part of the evaluation team.


To live, work and thrive in today’s society demands an ever-increasing understanding of digital technologies, particularly new and emerging technologies, such as AI. All individuals need to be able to be in a position to be in control of these technologies rather than being “controlled” by them.

So, how can teachers and students develop an awareness and understanding of the big ideas of AI to empower them to become creative and critical thinkers, effective problem-solvers and active citizens in a connected society that is becoming increasingly complex? In this talk I draw on pertinent educational examples including the AI4T European experimental project which aims to explore and support the use of AI in education.

Keynote: Privacy and information security in the education world

By Professor Kai Rannenberg, Rannenberg, Chair of Mobile Business & Multilateral Security, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

Professor Kai Rannenberg

Kai Rannenberg has held the Chair of Mobile Business & Multilateral Security at Goethe University Frankfurt since 2002 and a Visiting Professor at the National Institute for Informatics (Tokyo, Japan) since 2012. Until 2002, he was working with the System Security Group at Microsoft Research Cambridge on „Personal Security Devices & Privacy Technologies“.

Since September 2021 Kai has been the IFIP Honorary Treasurer; since 2015 he was an IFIP Vice President and an IFIP Councillor since 2009. Since 2014 he has been Chair of the IFIP Publications Committee and Editor-in-chief of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology. From 2007 until 2013 Kai chaired IFIP TC-11 “Security and Privacy Protection in Information Processing Systems”, after having been its Vice-Chair since 2001.

Kai has been coordinating several leading EU research projects, e.g., the Network of Excellence Future of Identity in the Information Society and the Integrated Project Attribute based Credentials for Trust (ABC4Trust) and is coordinating CyberSec4Europe, a pilot for the European Cybersecurity Competence Network the EU is aiming for.