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Government told to scrap school IT lessons

Jenny Williams

IT lessons should be dropped from the national curriculum, IT industry trade association Intellect has advised the government.

In response to a Department for Education request for evidence, Intellect says IT courses discourage students from pursuing advanced computer science skills across STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] subjects, which are crucial to the IT industry's international competitiveness.

"Take up of IT courses is falling and the basic IT skills being generated by the education system are not meeting learners' or employers' needs. Technology companies often have to spend considerable time up-skilling new employees as a result," said John Hoggard, programme manager at Intellect.

Hoggard says advanced computing skills have greater economic benefits.

"Such advanced skills can offer substantial knock-on benefits to the economy, so the government should provide explicit support and emphasis for them within our education system," he said.

Hoggard believes students can develop better IT skills across curriculum subjects by using school computer equipment as well as personal mobile devices.

"We therefore need to conduct additional teacher training on how IT can be embedded in lessons," he said.

A report released in February 2011 by the Royal Society said an overhaul of A-levels and better teaching are needed to boost the numbers of young people progressing to STEM subjects in higher education.


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