Students back to school for new e-skills ICT curriculum today

Students return to the e-skills Behind the Screen programme, as schools fill the gap left by government scrapping the national ICT curriculum

Many students return to school today to start the new e-skills computing curriculum.

Speaking at the education show BETT, in January, education secretary Michael Gove said the current ICT curriculum is too off-putting, demotivating and dull and would be pulled from schools. 

A replacement computer science GCSE is due to be rolled out from September 2014, but in the meantime schools have been left with a gap in their curricula.

Working with the government, the education provider e-skills piloted its Behind the Screen programme earlier this year, which is designed to teach Key Stage 4 IT to secondary school children who have an interest in technology and computer science.

The GCSE IT programme aims to give students a grounding in science and technology that underpins computing. The curriculum was developed with input from employers, with the projects and tasks based on real-life business issues.

Karen Price, chief executive of e-skills UK, said the UK is long overdue a completely new approach to teaching IT as a subject.

“Despite young people being avid users of technology, from mobile phones to video games, the number of students choosing to study computing related courses at school continues to decline," said Price.

According to Price, Michael Gove's announcement about scrapping the IT curriculum had given schools a window of opportunity.

“Schools are starting the new academic year with a new freedom to adopt programmes that will have more relevance to the technology their students see and use on a day to day basis,” she said.

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