ICT should be dropped from curriculum

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ICT lessons should be dropped from the UK schools curriculum entirely, as the subject is failing both pupils and employers, according to the trade body for the UK's technology sector, Intellect.

Intellect said that the current ICT curriculum is "failing both pupils and employers" and suggested to the Department for Education (DfE) that computing should be a stand-alone subject available to pupils from Key Stage 3, with a focus on higher value computer science skills.

It also recommended making computing a part of the English Baccalaureate in its response to the DfE's review of the national curriculum.

John Hoggard, Intellect's education programme manager, said the current ICT curriculum was putting students off ICT as a discipline, as it is too focused on teaching pupils how to use a limited number of software packages and does not inspire them to develop more advanced computer science skills.

"Uptake of ICT courses is falling – for example, GCSE courses in ICT show a 57 per cent decline in numbers between 2005 and 2010. And the basic ICT skills being generated by the education system are not meeting the needs of pupils or their potential employers," he said.

In a bid to encourage wider ICT skills and greater creativity, Intellect also suggested that basic ICT skills, interactive content and multimedia technology should be used across all lessons.

Tim Hatch, member of Intellect's Education Group and education and public sector business development manager at Intel, added: "Intel sees other countries, especially emerging markets, evaluating the skills they need and developing curriculums to match to ensure future growth.

"It is vital that we develop our advanced computing, science, technology, engineering and mathematics and basic ICT skills in the UK to ensure we can compete with these emerging economies and this work needs to begin in our schools."

School Leadership Today
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