Government announces at BETT that current ICT programme will end in September

Computer Science to take over from school ICT

The Government is set to announce later today that the current ICT curriculum is to be scrapped in favour of Computer Science and programming classes.

Education secretary Michael Gove will say that the current curriculum is "harmful and dull," while the new one they’ll create will help young people "to work at the forefront of technological change".

He’s concerned the current offering doesn’t offer a proper grounding in computing skills – skills that could well be essential for Britain’s economic future.

At educational technology trade show BETT he will say: "Imagine the dramatic change which could be possible in just a few years, once we remove the roadblock of the existing ICT curriculum.

"Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word or Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations."

He has a point. Today’s children grow up using computers. Do they really need to be taught how to use basic apps, when they could be learning more specific skills?

Entrepeneur Ian Livingstone is an adviser to Gove and covers similar ground in an article in today’s Independent. He says learning how to use PowerPoint is worthless for those building a career in the digitial industries and comments: "What is needed is a rigorous and relevant computer science curriculum. By the age of 16 they should be able to write a program that creates something like a Sudoku puzzle. By 18 they should be able to write their own programming language."

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