Contributors to this forum will not be surprised by the findings of the Oftsed report on ICT courses - 'The importance of ICT, ICT in schools 2005/2008' There is good news there about ICT provision and rising standards. Only 11% of secondary schools had inadequate achievement. (Fine, as long as your own children don't go there.) But the Great Scam of easy ICT courses has now been officially recognised. Apparently, OCR national level 2 and DIDA courses can be passed with just the skills expected of an average 11 year old. It is twice as easy to clock up GCSEs with these courses than other GCSE subjects. Strangely, the report says that "Increasingly, schools have turned to qualifications that are seen to be less demanding." What can this mean? Furthermore, these outcomes are poor preparaton for A levels and "contribute to the falling numbers doing A level ICT". They also "fail to provide the vital skills that the UK economy needs". It notes that standards are low in spreadsheets, databases and programming (i.e. the bits that aren't Media Studies by another name.) It notes that teachers are emphasising learning about software packages at the expense of teaching transferable skills. So, what should ICT teachers as a community do about this? - Should they carry on with this hugely successfull strategy, knowing that their easily-acquired teaching skills are contributing substantially to the points scores of their school and its valuable league table position? - Should they be content that these courses do nothing to prepare students for advanced studies in the subject or a career in the IT industries? - Should they feel any sense of guilt that their professional standing as a subject professional has been undermined? - Are they able to respond collectively to this shameful position, or just continue to moan on this forum about 'rubbish' ICT courses, useless subject associations, and the lousy new IT Diploma? Or perhaps the tactic of denial, with a bit of author bashing? (What does FT know? Not even a teacher. Just some IT company director complaining that they can't find any young people who are employable in their industry.) I think it would be timely if IT educational professionals as a vertebrate species came out and showed that they actually did possess a spine.