Ofsted’s latest review looks at what the computing curriculum should include, here are just a few key findings detailed in the report:
Warning over a lack of qualified computing teachers
There remains a shortage of qualified computing teachers. In 2017, a UK survey of teachers with responsibility for computing education found that a very small percentage of primary school teachers held a computer science qualification at a higher level.
Ofsted states that this will have “significant consequences for the quality of education that pupils receive if nothing is done to remedy the situation”.
Request for more computing subject CPD in primary schools
Whilst primary school teachers cannot be expected to be qualified in all subjects that they teach, research has shown the importance of subject-specific CPD in primary education.
“In secondary schools, 46 per cent of computing teachers held a computing qualification (36 per cent computer science and 10 per cent ICT or business with ICT).”
Whilst technology is now an integral part of teaching and learning, the government’s Education Technology Survey 2020 – 2021 found that 68% of teachers said they were not comfortable or confident with online learning platforms or technology. Following this, 64% of teachers say skills and confidence are barriers to the uptake of technology for teaching.
Curriculums should be rich in computer science, IT and digital literacy knowledge
Ofsted stated that a planned curriculum should include knowledge of computing science, IT and digital literacy, whilst covering concepts such as programming, data system architecture and algorithms.
A focus on teaching pupils programming skills
Ofsted highlights the importance of pupils learning and understanding fundamental programming knowledge to develop “skilful programmers”.
Pupils are often expected to learn:
- Programming constructs, such as sequence, selection and repetition.
- Programming language syntax.
- How to solve problems using programming.
E-safety should be an integral part of the curriculum
The review details that having a school policy set for what pupils should know and remember is not enough: “This should be rooted in the design of the curriculum and taught by teachers who have had opportunities to develop subject knowledge in online safety”.
Whilst some of these findings are concerning, there is a lot your school can be doing to empower your staff and children through the use of IT. Contact us for more information on how our services can benefit your school including skills audits, comprehensive technology CPD and consultancy.
Read Ofsted’s research review series on computing here.
Published: June 21