The Department for Education (DfE) held a roundtable discussion on Tuesday on the contents of the new ICT curriculum that will be launched to schools in September 2014, V3 has learnt.
A draft ICT programme of study (PoS) has been put together by the British Computer Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) over the course of the past month.
This was shared with the roundtable attendees, who included industry representatives from Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and IBM, members of education associations from the likes of e-skills UK and the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts [Nesta], as well as school inspection body Ofsted.
David Willetts, minister of state for Universities and Science, chaired the discussion, according to V3 sources, although the DfE has refused to comment on the meeting.
A spokeswoman for the DfE said the discussion was a "private meeting" and releasing information regarding the contents or attendees may "jeopardise" the amount of work that has gone into reforming the ICT curriculum so far.
The revelations of the meeting come as V3 launches its Make IT Better campaign, in partnership with the Corporate IT Forum, calling on the government to be more open about its reforms to the ICT curriculum.
We want the views of teachers, education advisors and IT industry representatives to be considered at an earlier stage.
Many of these professionals are frustrated that their views will not be considered until the national consultation in spring next year, even though the draft for the new ICT curriculum is already well underway
While the government is currently making changes to every subject in the school curriculum, the ICT programme of study (PoS) has been marked out as unique in its need of attention.
In January this year, education secretary Michael Gove described the ICT PoS as unfit for purpose and he called for a complete overhaul to the ICT curriculum to stop children being "bored out of their minds".
So far, the Department for Education has shared limited details on the process for the ICT PoS reform, with much of the discussion taking place behind closed doors with a small number of education stakeholders and IT industry representatives.
V3 learned in September that the DfE had asked the British Computer Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to draft the initial ICT PoS, with the help of other education stakeholders.
V3 also learned of a worrying lack of woman sitting on the BCS and RAEng joint management committee. That is particularly worrying given the lack of women in the IT industry.
The goal to get more women into the sector is backed by business and government. The committee also lacked representatives from primary schools.
Once the BCS and RAEng concluded their draft PoS, it was submitted to the DfE on 22 October, in order for the roundtable to take place the following day.
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