Today, the ICT Steering Group published its review of the ICT curriculum in Wales, at a launch at Box UK’s office in Cardiff attended by Huw Lewis AM, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Education and Skills.
This is the culmination of eight months of discussion, evaluation and consultation, to identify a way forward for ICT in Wales. As co-chair of this review, I am delighted with what we have delivered: a declaration of intent for Wales, to change the profile and perception of a subject of tremendous educational and economic importance to Wales. I truly hope that the Welsh Government adopt the report’s recommendations in full and use this as an opportunity to highlight the importance of computing and digital literacy in a modern, challenging and aspirational national curriculum.
As per today’s written Ministerial Statement:
The report of the ICT Steering Group, published today, poses some very significant questions and explores themes that we must now consider in the context of the wider review of assessment and the National Curriculum…I am very grateful for this report and will respond in full to all these recommendations in due course.
The full report is now available to download (English, Cymraeg).
- A new subject named Computing should be created to replace Information and Communications Technology (ICT) from Foundation Phase onwards. This new subject will disaggregate into two main areas: Computer Science (CS); and Information Technology (IT).
- Computing should be integrated into the curriculum as the fourth science, served by a mandatory Programme of Study, and receive the same status as the other three sciences.
- A Statutory Digital Literacy (DL) Framework should be implemented to work alongside the Literacy and Numeracy Framework from Foundation Phase through to post-16 education.
- Perceptions of Computing education pathways should be changed to recognise the key societal roles of computing and technology, as well as promote the importance and diversity of IT careers.
- The revised Computing curriculum should encourage creativity, allow thematic working and develop real world problem-solving. It should be flexible enough to continually evolve to remain current, adopting an Agile ideology and approach to ensure this.
- A range of engaging and academically rigorous pathways and bilingual qualifications for Computing and Digital Literacy should be devised, encouraging interest and opportunities for deeper learning.
- Engagement and collaboration between education and industry should be an integral part of the curriculum to embed current practices and skills.
- Pathways for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in Computing should be created to encourage the best talent into the profession. All entrants to the teaching profession should have the skills to deliver the Digital Literacy Framework (DLF).
- A programme of training and professional development to enable the new Computing curriculum should be accessible to new and existing teachers.
- A National Technology Framework should be devised to create an effective technology infrastructure for education. Welsh Government, local authorities, industry and learning providers should be responsible for its effective implementation and strategic development.
- Effective monitoring arrangements should be created for Computing and the Digital Literacy Framework. Estyn should consider relevant changes to the Common Inspection Framework in light of all of these recommendations.
- An appropriate body or properly constituted group should oversee the implementation of these recommendations. Its remit would need to be broad enough to encompass this crucial governance role, utilising appropriate expertise and representing key stakeholders.
News articles: BBC News (including package from BBC Wales Today), Western Mail and brief Welsh Government item.
As a computer science graduate, former member of the BCS and former Chartered Engineer I strongly support this development in the teaching of Computer Science and Information Technology as separate (and equally important) subjects for school education. This represents significant progress in curriculum development in Wales.
it would be simpler if they just made sure everyone could get a fit for purpose connection to the internet for a start. It would also help if they didn’t build massive firewalls in school to ‘protect’ the children which only serves to frustrate both teachers and pupils.
It would help if the IT departments kept things simple so teachers didn’t waste hours struggling to access information and software they needed.
It would help if people doing these surveys listened to the teachers and pupils.
Kids need to learn to code, at very early ages. Employ youngsters who can code to come into school to teach the teachers and the pupils at the same time.
I really hope that the Welsh Government read and appropriately act on all of the recommendations in this report – some serious changes need to be met if Wales is to progress as other countries are doing.