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Is Computing going the same way as Electonics?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by liamfh, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. liamfh

    liamfh New commenter

    11 years ago I walked onto a PGCE for D&T as they were pushing Electronics as a subject and I studied electronic Engineering at uni. I got a job teaching ICT as there was no Electronic jobs being advertised. Once the school realised my specialism they had me teaching Electronics GCSE as well as ICT, but with no Electronics being taught in KS3 and being given a ridiculously small budget (we had to de-solder circuits to reuse capacitors, resistors, etc), I didn't get instantly good results and it was cancelled as a subject after two years. I think partly because I laid out what budget I would need to run it well.

    I took a pay cut to go into teaching as it is something I always wanted to do but I wanted real life work experience first.

    I have been teaching ICT and computing my whole teaching career but I fear that Computing will go the way of Electronics. Its the same trend. They need more teachers so throw a bursary at it. People realise what a crappy profession teaching can be and fly off back to industry. Schools stop advertising for jobs and move on to other subjects.

    I hope I am wrong as I know schools that do insane work in Computing but I fear I'm not.
    ViolaClef likes this.
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Yes, it is.

    There was an earlier question on here about how schools get away with not teaching computing in KS3. OFSTED cannot criticise schools for not teaching computing, a core subject, at ks3 because if they did they would bring attention to the whole situation.

    £80m has been spent to little effect. This article makes a good summary.


    English students will be left behind by the rest of the world.

    Government policy seems to be be formed according to the needs of big companies who profit enormously from education. MATs are businesses. They sell a product and need to cut costs to maximise profits. Computing is an expensive subject to run so unless the expenditure yields an acceptable pass rate it will be mothballed, same as any loss-making production line.

    Seems to me that MATs are deliberately letting Computing die. They make token gestures but are quite happy to get a crop of bad passes to justify getting rid of it. Rigging CAS to be full of exactly the wrong people to come up with a good definition of what Computing should contain was a masterstroke.

    There are plenty of qualified, experienced CS teachers who cannot find a job. It is a nonsense to state that there is a shortage of CS teachers. There is a shortage of cheap CS teachers. All of the oldies have been drummed out of the profession.

    Personally, I feel that the retraining of ICT teachers is a complete red herring. The job of a teacher needs to become an attractive to CS graduates. That would require that someone address the issues around workload, pay, student behaviour and workplace bullying. No politician wants to open that can of worms so they all sit around playing a blame game and meanwhile CS slips away into oblivion.

    The writing has been on the wall for quite some time.
  3. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    Hate to say it even though I am a member of CAS, but what have they actually achieved? They lobbied for CS and got CS, but nothing has actually happened apart from students not doing ICT or CS in any real numbers. About 5 years ago I asked the school that I was at if I could retrain fully for Maths(I was already being used part time on the department) they said yes and I filled in my paperwork, a week or so later I was told no as Computer Science was so important(the MAT the took over thought so). Now a work in a school with no real KS3 and 25 students a year doing CS without any pre knowledge of what it entails. I tried flipped learning this year, as a way to get more engagement and speed up the knowledge acquisition, in the end a parent complained that I gave to much homework, and I wasn't a real teacher. I honestly believe that know one other than CS teachers understand the problem.
  4. NeitherMouseNorSock

    NeitherMouseNorSock New commenter

    And now the 'experts' fill a magazine bemoaning this and saying what the solutions are.

    I avoid at all costs. Kids never do the work anyway.
  5. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    There are still a small number of schools teaching Electronics - some of them are in the independent sector. @liamfh Have you considered contacting these schools speculatively to see if they would be interested in your skill set? Pupils are often not being taught by specialists in these subjects.
  6. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    The signs aren't good. How many former CAS employees are now current NCCE employees? Nuff said.
  7. liamfh

    liamfh New commenter

    Thanks for the advice. I’m really happy in my job, I’ve moved to special needs schools and wouldn’t change it for anything. Autistic kids can make amazing programmers if given the right support!
    ViolaClef likes this.

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