Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - Survey points to pandemonium in ICT

Half of teachers believe the government’s decision to scrap the existing ICT curriculum will lead to job cuts, according to a survey released this week.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 20 September

Survey points to pandemonium in ICT


Half of teachers believe the government’s decision to scrap the existing ICT curriculum will lead to job cuts, according to a survey released this week.

Some six in ten said there would be drop in teaching time for the subject as a result of the move, the poll, commissioned by teachers’ union NASUWT, found.

The survey of nearly 2,000 teachers and school leaders also revealed a lack of confidence in the coalition’s reforms of the ICT curriculum.

In January this year, education secretary Michael Gove branded the ICT curriculum a “mess” and said schools no longer had to follow agreed programmes of study in seconday schools, leaving teachers free to teach the subject from this term as they saw fit.

Mr Gove is planning to replace ICT with a more rigorous computer science subject, which will focus on computer programming and even sit side by side the other sciences in a bid to revitalise a subject that he described as “demotivating and dull”.

These decisions were widely welcomed by the industry, but concerns were raised about how this might be achieved, particularly when the subject currently faces a shortage in teachers.

And according to the NASUWT, however, the decision to scrap the current curriculum has led to 56 per cent of teachers fearing that the changes will mean ICT teaching jobs will be lost.

Miles Berry, chair of ICT lobby group Naace and senior lecturer on ICT education at the University of Roehampton, said there was a “deep confusion” within schools when it came to the reforms, which were reflected in the survey.

“Some schools have seen [Mr Gove’s] decision as an opportunity to do exciting things and change how they approach ICT, but others have seen it as an excuse to cut back and deploy teachers elsewhere,” Mr Berry said. “So while the results of the survey are not surprising they are still disappointing.”

Survey results:

56% said the ICT curriculum changes would lead to further job cuts in schools

63% believed it would lead to a decrease in teaching time for ICT

37% felt scrapping the curriculum would hinder innovation

17% reported ICT teaching jobs were lost in their school as a result of cuts to school budgets

43% stated local authority support services for ICT have declined


For more on this story, please read tomorrow’s TES.



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