Even the able struggle to get As
TEACHERS HAVE reacted angrily to this year's dismal ICT A-level results. Less than 10 per cent of students got an A grade, compared with a national average of 25 per cent for all exam entries.
The results for applied ICT were even worse, with only 4.2 per cent achieving an A grade and as many as 14 per cent ungraded although the national pass rate in the subject rose this year to almost 97 per cent.
Teachers have bombarded The TES online staffroom with comments about the results. One said that numbers on his A-level ICT course were falling rapidly because the results were so poor.
"The course is beginning to lose credibility and I am finding many staff becoming demotivated and unwilling to teach it," he said.
Many of his students, who achieved A grades in subjects such as economics, maths and English, ended up with no more than Cs and Ds at ICT, he said.
Another contributor said she did not want to teach the subject any more. "I am sick of it," she said. "It's just not fair on the staff or the students."
A Sussex teacher said in a letter to The TES that even his most able students found it impossible to get an A grade in applied ICT.
But a spokeswoman for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said she was not aware of any complaints from teachers this year.
Just over half, 53 per cent, of candidates achieved grades A-C in their ICT A level, while only 41 per cent got a C or above in applied ICT. Almost a quarter of both ICT and applied ICT students scored a grade D in their A-level exam.
A head of the subject at a Surrey sixth-form college said: "The course is not as multi-media as pupils hoped and many of them found it disappointing."
However, he was optimistic about the new curriculum, to be introduced from September 2008.
"It's less repetitive, and there's more scope for freedom and creativity," he said.