Where are we now?A summary of recent developments relating to ICT in education
Eric SchmidtGoogle Chairman“Your IT curriculumfocuses on teaching how touse software, but gives noinsight into how it’s made.That is just throwing awayyour great computingheritage”
Next Gen.Livingstone Hope Review This review criticised the school ICT curriculum, saying that it focuses more on “office skills rather than the more rigorous Computer Science and programming skills which high- tech industries like video games and visual effects need”.The review received support from
ICT in Schools Ofsted Report 2008-11ICT was rated good or outstanding in nearlytwo thirds of primary schools inspectedduring the period; however, the mediareporting focussed on the poorerperformance in secondary schools.Lack of teacher capability in ‘key topics’ suchas programming is singled out as aparticular concern, along with a “lack ofattention to the needs and interests of moreable students”.64% decline in those taking GCSE ICT (from2007 - 2011).
Nick Gibb Schools Minister“We are looking very carefullyat ICT as part of the nationalcurriculum review and havelistened closely to the computingindustry’s calls for morerigorous Computer Sciencecourses to help tackle the skillsshortages facing high-techindustries.”
Michael Gove BETT Show 2012Gove announced his intention to‘disapply’ the existing Programme ofStudy for ICT from September of thisyear. He stressed that “ICT will remaincompulsory at all key stages, and willstill be taught at every stage of thecurriculum”. He said that theProgramme of Study would remainonline ‘for reference’ but that schoolswould no longer be required to follow it.
Royal Society Report Computing in SchoolsKey recommendation is that ICT should be‘restructured’ into three distinctive components:• ‘digital literacy’ (“the ability to use computersystems confidently and effectively”)• ‘Computer Science’ (“the study of how computerswork”)• ‘Information Technology’ (“how computers areused to solve important problems in business andindustry”)Recommends that the term ‘ICT’ is no longer used.
A Wiki Curriculum What can we expect?The Computing and Schools WorkingGroup, containing members fromMicrosoft and Google, have proposed aComputing curriculum.NAACE (the subject association for ICT)have also drafted a curriculum, and havechosen to retain use of the term ‘ICT’ todescribe the subject. This curriculum isarguably broader in scope than theComputing curriculum proposed by CAS.To date NAACE have only drafted theProgramme of Study for KS3.
A fuller summary of recent developments(with hyperlinks to relevant publications and full text of speeches)can be found at theSLATE.org