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First draft of reformed ICT curriculum made public by BCS

29 Oct 2012
Academic mortarboard symbol on computer keyboard

The first draft of the reformed ICT curriculum has been made publicly available by the British Computing Society (BCS) on its website.

The Department for Education (DfE) instructed both the BCS and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to co-ordinate the draft document with the help of a small working party that included several school teachers, along with representatives from a number of education bodies, such as Vital and Naace.

Now the BCS and RAEng have asked for feedback from the wider education community.

"This initial draft is not in any way endorsed by DfE, and represents the expert advice of a working party that coordinated input from a range of stakeholders," said the BCS in a statement of disclosure on its website.

The BCS said after feedback had been received, it would be submitting a revised draft to the DfE at the end of November.

The draft document currently outlines the general skills school children should be required to possess between the ages of five to 16 (key stages one-four).

Designating around four to six bullet points per key stage, the document outlines a mix of IT, computer science and digital literacy skills students should be equipped with. However the document gives little specifics on how students should be taught such skills.

The BCS asks only for feedback on the wording of the bullet points, and does not invite teachers or members of the IT community to share their own views on how the ICT curriculum should be reformed.

"We welcome comments that provide concrete suggestions of changes to the wording of the draft. Eg ‘change X to Y', ‘add X to Y'. Please note due to time constraints we will focus on feedback that provides specific suggestions on the content of the document," said the BCS statement.

MAKE IT BETTER logoThe decision by the BCS to make the draft document public comes following V3's launch of its Make IT Better campaign.

The Campaign, in partnership with the Corporate IT Forum, calls on the government to give the ICT curriculum reform process greater transparency and to include the views of more teachers, education advisors and IT professionals from the start.

As part of this campaign, V3 will soon publish regular accounts from teachers and IT professionals on what they want to see in the new ICT curriculum.

Many teaching professionals are frustrated their views will not be considered until the national consultation in spring next year, even though a draft for the new ICT curriculum is already well underway.

The worry is that changes to the draft during this late stage of consultation are likely to be limited with only tweaks occurring at most.

Last week the DfE held a roundtable meeting with key members of the IT industry and education sector to discuss the BCS and RAEng document. Those attending included Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, as well school inspection body Ofsted.

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Rosalie Marshall

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.

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