One might be forgiven for thinking that the week before Christmas is a good week to bury bad news at the DfE.
Monday saw the publication of the Expert Panel’s recommendations for how the National Curriculum is to be revised. The full document is worth a read. In relation to ICT, the experts propose that it remain a statutory requirement for schools to teach ICT, but feel that there shouldn’t be a statutory programme of study, thus leaving what ICT is taught to the discretion of individual head teachers. They treat D&T in similar fashion.
Despite their importance in balanced educational provision, we are not entirely persuaded of claims that design and technology, information and communication technology and citizenship have sufficient disciplinary coherence to be stated as discrete and separate National Curriculum ‘subjects’.
We recommend that…Information and communication technology is reclassified as part of the Basic Curriculum and requirements should be established so that it permeates all National Curriculum subjects. We have also noted the arguments, made by some respondents to the Call for Evidence, that there should be more widespread teaching of computer science in secondary schools. We recommend that this proposition is properly considered.
The notion that any technological education isn’t sufficiently important to have a minimum entitlement specified by Government is, I think, likely to prove divisive – there’ll be many pupils in schools which recognise the importance of technology skills, knowledge and understanding and thus provide a rich, challenging and creative curriculum encompassing all aspects of technology, but I think most of would expect far too many schools to leave pupils to a minimal digital literacy embedded across the ‘proper’ subjects. I suspect, if the proposals are accepted, we’ll see 10 sorts of schools: those that teach computing, and those that don’t.Share