ICT: Curriculum

Education written question – answered on 17th July 2013.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to the contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, 24 April 2013, Official Report, column 986, which employers and leading companies have contributed to the new computer science curriculum; which are engaged in helping schools to implement that curriculum; and how companies who have not been consulted can get involved.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The new computing curriculum, which includes content relating to computer science and programming at each key stage, has been developed in association with experts from a wide range of organisations led by the British Computer Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. This includes commercial companies such as Microsoft and Metaswitch; and bodies representing IT sector employers—e-Skills UK and Intellect.

The curriculum development process also involved representatives from non-commercial organisations including universities, subject associations, learned societies and schools. A list of all of those consulted in the process of developing the draft published in February has been placed in the House Library, and is also available on the Department for Education website at:

https://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/l/lists%20of%20commentators%20-%20final.pdf

Some of the organisations involved in developing the new computing curriculum are already working independently of the Government to help schools teach computer science and programming. For example, Microsoft is promoting its free visual programming language Kodu to schools, which enables primary school children to learn some of the basics of programming. E-Skills UK has worked with several major employers—including BT, IBM and John Lewis—to develop the ‘Behind the Screen’ initiative, which teaches key stage 4 pupils how to apply their knowledge and skills in computer science and information technology to address problems in real-world settings.

We are keen to see a wide range of organisations involved in supporting schools to teach the new curriculum. By reducing unnecessary Government intervention in this area, we are providing space and opportunity to any companies and employers that want to help schools deliver the new programmes of study successfully.

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