This article, published in the Journal of Educational Technology and Society, discusses how computer science has been a discipline for some years, and its position in the school curriculum has been contested differently in several countries. This paper looks at its role in three countries to illustrate these differences. A reconsideration of computer science as a separate subject both in primary and secondary education is suggested. At EDUsummIT 2015 it was argued that the major rationales for including computer science as a subject in the K-12 curriculum are economic, social and cultural. The paper explores these three rationales and also a beneficence matrix to assist curriculum designers. It also argues computer science is rapidly becoming critical for generating new knowledge, and should be taught as a distinct subject or content area, especially in secondary schools. The paper concludes by looking at some of the key questions to be considered when implementing computer science in the school curriculum, and at ways its role might change in the future.