A report published by education watchdog Ofsted yesterday (December 14th) has challenged people in information, communication and technology (ICT) teaching jobs to put more demands on their pupils.
The study found that levels of achievement in ICT were inadequate in nearly one-fifth of the secondary schools Ofsted visited.
Inspectors revealed that the achievement of more able pupils was linked to how much they were challenged and how key aspects of the ICT curriculum were covered by their teachers.
Commenting on the findings published in 'ICT in schools 2008-11', Her Majesty’s chief inspector Miriam Rosen said that in today's world where we are increasingly reliant upon technology, it is essential that ICT is taught in an interesting, challenging and relevant way.
"Schools should provide a range of ICT courses that are suitably matched to students' needs, support them with their learning and prepare them for higher education and for skilled work in a technological age," the outgoing chief inspector said.
Assessing 167 schools in the primary, secondary and special categories between 2008 and 2011, Ofsted's survey found that ICT teaching was either good or outstanding in over two-thirds of primary schools.
In secondary schools however just more than one-third were deemed to be good or outstanding.
Findings from the report indicate that the Department for Education may consider revising the ICT curriculum, with the qualification and curriculum routes in almost half of all secondary schools inspected for the research found to be lacking.
Some 30 out of the 74 secondary schools included in the report were found to leave 16-year-old pupils without a sufficient grounding to continue further study or training in either ICT or a similarly related subject.
In three of the secondary schools, ICT teaching was revealed to be outstanding, with a further 32 graded as good.
Meanwhile, the number of students taking ICT at GCSE has fallen by 64 per cent since 2007.
In 2011, 31,800 pupils took the qualification, compared to 81,100 in 2007.
Posted by Tim Colman