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ICT is doomed thanks to the English Bacc

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by compisbest, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. ICT isn't doomed thanks to the eBacc. It simply has to survive on its own merits, like many other subjects.
  2. The eBacc's effects will be felt at our school in September 2012. D&T was compulsory and will likely now be an option. Diplomas will no longer be offered, and students will no longer do ICT functional skills in KS4. Already 40% of students do an MFL and over half do either History or Geography (or both). Students will get 4 option choices (up from 3) but will be encouraged to do one MFL and either History or Geography. RE dropped off the list as a full compulsory GCSE last September already. D&T will really lose out, but they have lost 2 full time posts for this September already. I suspect another post will go the next year
    ICT has always been an option and varies from 15-40% of the pupils as the years go by. The Diplomas reduced this (as they did for Art and Music here too), but now the Diplomas are going here, numbers in all 3 subjects will likely rise again.
    If ICT was compulsory at your school and will now be optional, you can expect a drift down towards the figures we get. As it happens, the total number of ICT lessons in our school increases quite a bit next year for a one year blip and then falls back for the following 2 years
  3. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    ICT is not dead, if you run a good department, getting good results and good pupil feedback and involvement then you are fine. No headteacher is going to dump that.
    The Ebacc will disappear into the ether once Gove goes, whilst parents, employers, colleges are not naive enought to think that by getting this they kids have worked any harder or have taken an extra exam. It just reflects a particular combination of subjects and nothing else, it is essentially meaningless and with time people will understand that it is.
  4. Very much agree with this.
    Can't really agree with this. The eBacc itself isn't going to be valued certificate but as a performance indicator for schools it will have the same validity (or lack of) as other arbitary goals such as 5A*-C inc Maths and English. Actually I don't think any future Labour government will move too far away from it; they won't want to be accused of 'dumbing down'.

  5. ict123

    ict123 New commenter

    <font size="2">I hardly ever post simply because I find a lot of the threads trivial.</font><font size="2">ICT is doomed? - Basically suggests that ICT departments and teachers are giving up.</font><font size="2">djphillips (excellent resources and valuable posts thank you) speaks absolute clear sense - If in your school the subject is thriving, pupils are achieving well, pupils are enthusiastic about ICT etc. how really will SMT simply get rid of it.</font><font size="2">I'm a HOD in a Welsh school and naturally look at the events unfolding because usually they permeate through to us. BUT I attended the Computing At Schools Conference for Wales and felt very inspired when leaving.</font><font size="2">I feel ICT has become shrouded in a mix of what is the point, where is it's place in the NC, etc. </font><font size="2">However speaking from my own situation where currently we offer Essential Skills in ICT, Entry Level, BTEC, GCSE, AS/A ICT and AS/A Computing and are experimenting with new technologies and software it is very much alive.</font><font size="2">I also work for exam boards and at the moment I am not seeing any signs of a dying subject. Content I agree needs reworking and maybe with the introduction of computing at KS4 we will have a further string to the subject area especially if pushed along the STEM route.</font><font size="2">There seems to be a lot of disillusioned ICT teachers out there but surely we still have the capacity to fight our corner and realise that such heavy investment both financially and in terms of curriculum wasn't in vain.</font><font size="2">Twitter Feed by Computer Weekly suggested that there is a rise AGAIN this year by 28% for ICT and Computing professionals. Who are going to fill these gaps?</font><font size="2">Gove's not going to be around forever with his odd policies so why instead of looking at the negative don't we realise just how valuable our subject is and try our best to instil this on as many stakeholders as possible.</font><font size="2">Rant over - Have a Nice Summer Everyone [​IMG]</font>

  6. robot1

    robot1 New commenter

    In our school most students do 12 GCSE's. Therefore of room for ICT!
    ICT will survive in schools where it is well taught and popular with students. We see KS3 as a promotional opportunity to really get our students interested in the subject and to value it. In our school ICT is compulsory at KS4 and offers a great deal for the school and for the students. For one lesson per week they get a qualification worth one GCSE. I can't see many subjects competing with this so there is no reason for ICT to disappear in my school.
    Also the Ebacc is a passing fad. Why would anyone in their right mind prefer a student with English, maths, double science, French and history over a student with English, maths, double science, French and economics for example. A worthless sheet of paper would not favour the student that takes history instead of economics in my mind or in the mind of any other right thinking person.

  7. Interesting that you say this - I had a meeting with the Head about 'rationalisation' yesterday.
    We discussed the fact that our A2 ICT had the best results in the school, the AS ICT group the second best and the vocational students were competitive with other departments.
    He didn't give a ****.

  8. I agree NotJohnBrown! Our GCSE results for GCSE were 100% A-C and 88% A*-A last year and AS Results were 100% A-E and 79% A-B and our A2 results were 100% A*-C with four A*s out of that and our headteacher is still merging our A Level groups together into one each (we will have 23 in AS and 20 in A2 next year, good grief! And has reduced the amount of lessons available to us for the GCSE lessons so less students could choose it, as he wanted to give more lessons to the EBACC subjects.

  9. What is of concern is the same few posters who ignore the EVIDENCE. 15% is the evidence. I know numerous schools in our area where ICT, music and D&T have been cut back heavily. This is the EVIDENCE. The 'if you have a good department' brigade is ignoring the EVIDENCE. ICT is in serious decline. Fortunately, I will be retiring in 12 - 18 months so am I bovvered? Well yes, I am a bit. I'm bovvered about the tory voters on here who'll be left, who believe in survival of the fittest, even if the evidence doesn't support it. Jeezzz. Some people.
  10. Whilst I agree that I have concern for colleagues in schools where there are cutbacks, there is no way of knowing how that 15% figure has been calculated and where those staff have gone. Do you really think a survey of 2400 teachers really gives a representative sample? Where are these schools?
    Additionally, I was always (and still am) of the impression that some schools giving 40% of a student's timetable to 4 GCSEs worth of 'ICT' was also narrowing the choices for students in the curriculum. Despite seemingly giving some schools great results (and some doing a very good job at it), I think that whoever allowed this situation to spiral out of control made a very poor decision.

    I have to agree with DJP - a good department will always be fine. And, for the record, my school has just expanded GCSE for ICT by restructuring the curiculum - this has allowed for students to gain the fantastic Ebac which is obviously the magic bullet we've been missing for years and enabled departments such as D & T and vocational education to expand.
  11. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    *** ar you talking about 15% is not evidence, it's just a fact that 15% of schools are allocating less time to ICT. I would probably wager that in the main this is because they go cross curricular or have a poor ICT dept so heads are culling it to make way for other subjects.Oh yes and the time allocated to ICT on the timetable at my place is going up by 50% in year 10 and 100% in year 11. Do you know why? It's not because we get more timetable time it's because more kids opt for it, so it goes from 2 to 3 classes in 10, and 1 to 2 in 11.
    Oh hold the phone, could it possibly that ICT time in some schools is going down because in some schools less kids are opting for it? I also wonder what the stats are for time allocation going up for ICT in schools? Have you ever considered the possibility that 15% of schools might allocate less time on the timetable whilst it is possible that 20% could be allocating more, and the other 65% no change?
    Jeezzz. Some people.You must have learnt by now that statistics can be interpreted in the way the journalist wants it to be. You need to step up from a level 4/5 :)

  12. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Oh yes and of course ICT in schools will go down as the 4 GCSE option that was Nationals and DIDA gets thinned out. Your stat proves nothing except that I would have expected it to be a lot higher than that as the vocational options drop off.
  13. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    I'm sorry but the harsh the reality is that school budgets are being cut and will continue to be cut again and again over the coming years
    SMT are starting to ask the question, what staff/subjects can we get rid of ? (without causing too much fuss) and ICT, in most places, fits the bill.
    Please do not believe that ICT is sacrosanct - the SMT/governors do give one jot about your commitment;your results etc. , Over the years I've seen loads of subjects/departments go to the wall many with great results and great teachers,
    Indeed, I've already heard rumours of one new academy proposal in which ; not only will there be no ICT department; but also no ICT rooms and no on site technicians - which, as I've stated before, is similar to many European schools.
    While you may choose to think that having no ICT department would sound the death knell for the school, the reality is that it wouldn't even break step as it marched on across the remants.
    In the current climate, we were 'surplus to requirements' even before the final blow of EBAC

  14. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Your pint being what, we run and maintain a network of over 300 pcs a year on just over 20k per annum, it does not have to be expensive.
    In your opinion, it's not a fact.
    You may well be right, but I have not seen any dpeartment or heard of any department in my 16 years in this game that mirrors what you outline. Perhaps you might like to ellaborate on your experiences....
    Have you ever considered that this school might fail and not be a good model of how to do education? Why are European schools right? I am sure some European schools teach subjects that we don't offer too.
    In your opinion.
    In your opinion. In my opinion and expererience at my current school we are the subject growing the fastest at KS4 and KS5. I will need 2 A level groups in Sept 2012 from year 10 indicators, I need to train more staff to deliver KS3 and KS4 courses and on the lastest parent pupil survey thingy (which is of course a perspective of the kids) we were the number 1 most appreciated subject in the school. I don't see us being surplus to requirements, nor the Ebac as any form of blow whatsover.

  15. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    I'm sorry but I simply learn the lessons of history.
    In my first school they taught motor vehicle studies (MVS) , It is in the W.Midlands so lots of car factories around - 10 groups of 15 in each exam year (over half the year group)
    Astoundingly successful by any measure - best pass rate; most students into employment etc etc; glowing HMI reports .
    Within three years it had gone, all of it - lack of money; lack of staff expertise; lack of appreciation of its signifcance
    Schools and their curricula evolve and change, subjects come and go. I believe ( yes purely my opinion) that ~ ICT is a child of its time much like metalwork, tech drawing, cooking, commerce, russian, latin, rural studies, etc.etc - all of which have existed in schools I have taught at and all of which disappeared over a very short time scale
    It is not just happening in the distant past ,one of my old schools (1000+ pupils ) stopped running A2 physics last year (great results but not enough take up) and looks like it is going to drop chemistry this year. If core subjects like this can go...
    In some places , such as your own, ICT may well hang on and maybe evolve through CS or some other route.
    But in many (most ?) others the death knell is already sounding - 2/1 year KS3 ; option 'holidays'; limiting numbers/groups at KS4 and 5; reducing number of ICT rooms/PCS are not the signs of a healthy subject and are common themes i hear again and again.
    BTW if you still believe after 16 years of teaching that government/governors/ SMT make decisions based on educational factors then you must have worked in very different places to the ones i have encountred.
    Money; politics; self aggrandisement - yes, by the bucket load. What's good for the kids; What is educationaly sound - never unless there was some connection with the former
    Look DJ, you are a successful and committed teacher, your department is thriving, your management team support you - well done.
    But do understand that you and a very few others are very much the exception
    The schools and staff I have regular contact with, all paint a very much bleaker and more worrying picture

  16. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I don't think we are an exception, all the departments I have worked within in the past (bar 1) had very good teaching and the subject was well received by students and parents alike. I simply have not encountered the experiences that you outline in the slightest. I also really don't buy the arguments that any of the departments that you have seen fail are similar to ICT as they were all minority areas. Whilst your "if corre subjects like this can go" argument is kind of my point that if you run a department well then you will survive, good grades in physics may not be due to the quality of teaching in the slightest, it may well have been due to the quality of student.As for evolving into CS, no thanks very much, that's a specialist niche that attracts specialist students. It's boring and I would shoot myself in the foot as numbers and grades would drop. Besides there's far more need to create and army of people who can do ICT rather than those who can do computing. Yes you need some people who can do computing, but the numbers who need ICT are far far greater. It always maeks me smile to see so many people on here banging on about CS, because it's their background. It's a minority subject and the masses should not be exposed to it.
    However I do accept that I amy well be wrong, and you need to accept that you may also be wrong. We have no idea, whay not bring this thread back in 10 years time and we will see where we stand.

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