Woollard, John, Peyton-Jones, Simon and Mitchell, Bill
Submission to the Commons Select Committee on Education. Southampton, GB, Computing at School, 7pp.
Computing is a rigorous, intellectually rich discipline alongside Maths, Science, or History. Like those subjects, Computing explores foundational principles and ideas, rather than training students in skills that date quickly. In an increasingly digital, knowledge-based age, Computing is fundamental both to full citizenship, and to our economic health as a nation.
Yet, incredibly, Computing is virtually absent from UK schools. Instead, secondary schools in England currently teach ICT. The original concept behind ICT was to teach students how to use software to solve real-world problems. That would have been a tremendous achievement had it succeeded. However, what has actually happened in far too many schools is that ICT focuses solely upon IT literacy, and supporting teaching and learning in other curriculum contexts. ICT is not the discipline of understanding and knowledge of computers and the way they work.
The creation of the EBac provides the perfect opportunity to send a clear signal to schools and pupils of the importance of Computing. Our key recommendation is that Computing (unlike ICT) should “count” towards the English Baccalaureate.
On behalf of Computing at School:
Dr. John Woollard
Prof. Simon Peyton-Jones
Dr. Bill Mitchell
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