Education experts have warned the Department for Education that its recently proposed computing curriculum lacks creativity and is weighted too heavily in the discipline of computer science.
The DfE launched its revised computing curriculum earlier this month for a three-month national consultation that will conclude on 16 April.
The revised curriculum will eventually replace ICT study programmes currently being run by schools, with the new computing curriculum due to come into force in September 2014.
Current programmes have been heavily criticism by the IT industry, government and the education sector for being out of touch with modern technology and industry needs, and hence was dis-applied from the national curriculum in September last year.
At a Westminster Education Forum in London the DfE said that the object of the curriculum review was to create a school subject that carried more of a computer science emphasis.
Phil Bannister, DfE computing team leader for the National Curriculum Review Division, explained the department had received an initial set of recommendations from both the British Computer Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering on what should be included in the new computing curriculum.
Then the department went back to the organisations for a second time in December last year to seek advice on how to further increase the computer science curriculum components.
"We wanted the subject aims shorter, we wanted more emphasis on computer science, and more links to maths, so we worked with experts on how to achieve this," said Bannister.
However many education experts attending the forum were critical of the new programme of study the DfE has proposed.
Ian Addison, ICT co-ordinator for St John the Baptist Church of England Controlled Primary School in Hampshire, warned the proposed curriculum lacks creativity, and received applause from members of the audience for raising such concerns.
"I'm worried there is so much programming and the bit that is missing is creativity. Where is the word creative in this curriculum?" said Addison.
"It worries me that people will look at words like 'data' and just do boring things like Excel."
Addison said many computing teachers will look at the computer science bullet points in the new curriculum and think it means they do not have to put effort into projects such as movie making, blog publishing and video editing.
Ofsted ICT national advisor David Brown shared Addison's concerns over the language of the curriculum.
"I do have worries. It's minimal [in terms of learning specifics] and teachers can do more than that. Some heads may look at the programme of study and just say it's not for me," said Brown.
Genevieve Smith-Nunes, head of computing and software development for Sussex Downs College, said it appeared the DfE had sacrificed creative aspects of the curriculum in its concerted drive to make it more science focussed.
"It's too programming heavy. There's no mention of art and no creative aspect to it. It should be cool, a bit off the wall," she said.
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