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Independent schools support ICT curriculum

16/05/2012 Kelly
Independent schools are more positive about the government's proposed reforms to the ICT curriculum, according to a new study.

Research by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) found that nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of independent schools agree with the policy, while just over one-quarter (26 per cent) of maintained schools held the same opinion.

However, the study also found that independent schools were more aware of the changing ICT policy, despite not being regulated by the Department for Education's (DfE) reforms.

Some 87 per cent of independent school ICT teachers were aware of the policy change, compared to 70.5 per cent of their state school counterparts.

The government recently announced plans to make the curriculum more challenging for the next academic year. Computer programming is set to become a bigger part of ICT teaching jobs.

It is keen to bolster young people's understanding of computing while improving the UK's international competitiveness in the industry.

Commenting on the survey's findings, BESA director Ray Barker said that the government's academies policy may be responsible for the trends discovered.

"It is not surprising that the independent school's sector understands and feels a closer alliance to the recent policy changes," he said.

"As an increasing number of state schools convert to become academies with independent school status, we are starting to see government policies that possibly sit more comfortably with independent schools, who are more akin to managing themselves."

A total of 148 ICT leaders in independent schools were questioned for the survey, which shed light on the adoption of new technologies in the sector.

The research found that 15 per cent of schools believe they are under-resourced when it comes to their systems and general software, while two-thirds of senior schools say they do not have enough laptops.

The uptake of tablet computers has not happened as quickly as expected either, with eight per cent of preparatory schools and five per cent of senior schools claiming to be "well resourced" with the devices.

Posted by Theo FouldsADNFCR-2164-ID-801364432-ADNFCR
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