Eighty-five per cent of pupils will be required to reach level 5 or above in the key stage 3 tests for ICT. This target, unveiled in the Treasury's Comprehensive Spending Review in July, will require a 27 per cent increase in the number of 14-year-old students achieving the qualification.
"The new target for attainment in ICT at age 14 is a vital step in enabling all children to get the most out of new technology both for the rest of their learning and for their future employability," the Treasury statement read. The same igure has been set for English and maths, and at 80 per cent for science.
However, Mike Smith of the National Association of Advisers for Computers in Education said the present figure of 58 per cent achieving level 5 or above in ICT is inflated and said the real increase needed was closer to 50 per cent.
NAACE welcomed the target but he said it was "ambitious"and would require more resouces for schools and much better training for teachers.
The statement promised "boosting pupils' access to computers", but no details have yet been released.