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It is official Computing is in decline

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by dalersmith, May 8, 2019.

  1. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

  2. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    This is the quote to remember
    The Department for Education said the government had acknowledged the importance of computing by making it a compulsory part of the national curriculum.

    "We are investing £84m over the next four years to up-skill up to 8,000 computer science teachers and drive up participation in computer science," said a spokesperson.

    Put a reminder in your calendars for 8th May 2023 to check how well this initiative has worked.

    Probably as well as other government led actions to deal with other shortages - G.P.s, nurses,engineers etc etc
  3. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    We all know that compulsory in computing means that it will get treated the same as PSHE or RS. It isn't just lack of staff, the accountability system makes computing an easy target for getting rid of, problem is that new vocational qualifications are much harder than in the past so a nailed on Distinction for turning up is a thing of the past. Most EBacc subjects get 2 hours a week in ks3 in my school, but computing gets nothing. Same excuse every time, funding, cannot afford staff etc. But most schools only give 1 hour a week to KS3 and still expect great results in KS4, all schools should realise if they want the results they need to invest in the staff and the curriculum time. Before anyone points out compulsory kS3 computing we have been through an OFSTED inspection and they didn't notice.
  4. voidbushh

    voidbushh New commenter

    Forget compulsory, we’ve just been written out of curriculum! No job from September, students don’t know and it’s awful as options not yet been released and pupils saying they’re looking forward to choosing subject! Undervalued-just a bit!
  5. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    All this was predictable. I welcomed the "Re-introduction" of Computing as it happened. But when I saw the reality I was concerned that this would happen. Retired so doesn't really affect me.
  6. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    @ voidbush
    That is really sad to hear, but something we are beginning to see much more of. Sick of DfE rhetoric about rising numbers when the truth is plain to see. Schools do not want computing because it is too hard for the kids and they do not want to pay the cost of quality staff and curriculum time that is overly used for Maths and English as they count double(so get double time). Still gets me that many schools struggle with Maths and English with the extra time but then have a go at computing that had none in the first place. I have been teaching for ten years, before that I have served in the Armed Forces(12 years) and a career in financial services as an Operational MI Analyst(about 8 years), seriously considering leaving it all behind and heading back in to industry.
  7. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    I'm going to spell it out for anyone not in the know.

    CAS and the BCS are hugely responsible for this disaster. Hugely. Look at their recent forum posts and you will see a constant kind of orgy of mutual admiration bottem licking posts. It has become a sickening embarrassment to read. Nothing will get better with these organisations, because they close down any and all dissenting posts now. They have discussed for years the same problems as they see it, and avoided the real issues of class sizes, poor behaviour, wide class ability ranges, very poorly designed courses with too much content, too difficult topics, incompetent exam board teams making dreadful decisions e.g. the NEA disaster etc etc. What planet are they on lick lick.

    Then, whenever either organisations produce a report, hunt down the bit about who is on the committee that actually produced them. You will find it stuffed with anyone and everyone but who is not a teacher in a mixed ability state school, which makes up 95% of UK schools. Talk about doctors being told how to practise medicine by well meaning solicitors or engineers. Both organisations have been promising to change for years, but haven't done so at all.

    Now turn your attention to this new organisation, the NCCE. Who is in it? Well surprise surprise, CAS and BCS employees were appointed in the main. What do they do? Well also surprise surprise, it's like seeing an organisation through cateracts' eyes; no one knows what they are doing, no one has seen any adverts for people to write resources for the £84M they have, or adverts to employ trainers, or adverts for organising courses, or where their so-called hubs are being built. No one.

    Disgusted of Clapham.

    So what next? F&&& knows. There is an omnishambles happening. Nothing will change. Nothing.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  8. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    I will be honest, I do not blame CAS or the BCS, I blame the cuonsecutive Conservative Governments. The changes where made on the back of a CAS campaign way back when CAS was mainly teachers(I was one of them in 2010), yes the board was mostly academics, but isn't that the case for most organisations (especially within teaching). ICT needed to change, I do not think many people would ever disagree, but they through the baby out with the bathwater, against the advice of the BCS and CAS, whom both said there was room for Computer Science and a new version of ICT. I will rant at missed opportunities by many to get a truely amazing digital education for all, but now we move from the envy of the world and our to introduction of the computing curriculum to being a laughing stock. Now almost half of all secondary students have no digital education whatsoever, now schools drop all subjects that get top marks for all, even though the SLT of schools strip back curriculum time and resources, with the cry of funding issues. Still they have the funding for their own pay rises, whilst teachers get lambasted for bad results, you cannot make a silk purse from a sows ear, that, however, is what we are expected to do. It is not poor teachers and lack of training, it is poor understanding of the subject by the government and SLT, it is poor funding for schools, it is poor management of the education system in the first place along with a bury your head in the sand attitude.
  9. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Had they reintroduced more computing into the ICT curriculum, gradually, over a period of time the end result would have been much better. Sadly the people listened to didn't really understand change in education, sadly many of these were teachers.
  10. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    But there was always computing in the old ICT program of study, the problem was it was ignored on the most part in order to concentrate on the use of MS Office or any other variant of office automation. We have gone from a core shortage subject, to a foundation subject, which means many schools will find a reason to opt out as providing a good quality keystage 3 in preparation for GCSE becomes expensive. Plus we can always blame the teachers as it was their fault it had to change in the first place, no one questions an accountability system that praises schools for gaming, first with OCR Nationals and their like, then with ECDL. The current vocational qualifications are as hard as if not harder than the old ICT GCSE, yet schools still expect 100% distinction with shorter hours than other subjects. I loved the 2012 announcement and the new curriculum back in 2014, however, now I am seriously considering getting out of teaching and going back to industry. We are a forgotten subject, and DfE rhetoric about the numbers of students taking computer science annoys me greatly, we are classed as an EBacc science yet treated with little of the kudos that the other sciences get.
  11. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Very short memory. The Nationals often get slated but this started with the GNVQ and the promise form one company that if you bought their product you could get four GCSE's - thus the gaming started. IMO the vocationals now are better but again they lack stability and are only on the tables for a few years.
    I remember coming on here after the announcement and lots of hoorahs from people that wanted computing and damn ICt - I think my reaction at that point was turkeys wishing for Xmas and sure enough......
    As ever there is a part for both IT and computing but neither has been taken seriously (unless you go back to the point where SATS in KS3 in IT were put on the table then panic broke out).
    We need a return to stability rather than a government and an unelected body playing with qualifications like it is their latest toy.
    border_walker likes this.
  12. mrGundam

    mrGundam New commenter

    Worrying report indeed. Not really sure what the answer is but shoehorning students into a Computer Science focussed curriculum simply is not suitable. Students need robust digital literacy skills, confidence and experience across a wide range of systems and software so they can adapt fast in the workplace to changing developments and needs. Coming out with a GCSE in Computer Science leads little more than to A level, and serves no real market place benefit until post degree level.
  13. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    @tonyuk Not so much a short memory, just a case that I have only been teaching 10 years, GNVQs were before my time, I have never met them. I did sing hurrah back in 2014, I also suggested in the consultation that there was indeed a place for ICT in the curriculum. The biggest issue I think we have is if there is no core ICT/Computing then schools will always take time from non core in order to get headline results. We have seen an increase computing from 4K in 2013 to 70 odd thousand, yet Chemistry increased by 15% in the last year alone, computer science was an 8% increase. School leaders go for the tables not the whole education of a student.
  14. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    i remember going to their meeting were they effectively told you how to cheat even though the exam board, also present were not happy about it.
  15. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    It's an interesting reading of the report that you see in the media. What I see it saying is that GCSE Computer Science entries are up, even four years after the new subject was introduced, and that the "decline" is mostly due to the demise of ECDL.

    So whether you agree to the changes or not, the actual story is that the DfE reforms have done what they were supposed to do - encourage students to take Computer Science and stop schools from using ICT qualifications to game the league tables.
  16. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    It would be interesting to see how many centres are continuing entering students for CS.
    Round my way, at least 4 schools have dropped exam level CS (and IT etc.) but the independents are crowing about adding extra CS groups at GCSE and A level

    I would strongly suspect that the current "increase" in take up is fairly illusory brought about by this sort of anomaly
  17. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    Yes but at what cost, instead of solving a skills shortage first talked about in the Nesta Livingstone-Hope review. We have brought about the demise of the overall subject of Computing education, my school has seen student numbers drop from 50+ to around 20 for computer science, fewer for vocational IT as students are told by SLT that they should choose aspirational subjects not vocational subjects. Little do they know that the vocational reforms have made the quals as hard as any GCSE.
  18. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    My experience locally (i.e. across the county) is that I see very few students now who are doing ICT courses (mostly CiDA), but that most schools offer Computer Science - nearly all OCR, but also Edexcel, AQA and Eduqas. I say "most" schools, but I'm not actually aware of a school that doesn't offer it.
  19. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    If you read the report, it is clear where the numbers have gone: old course that are designed to fiddle that are now been scrapped. As soon as the fiddle was gone, SLT let pupils pick what they wanted. When we turned into an academy and the OCR Nationals were scrapped, we dropped from 170 pupils being forced to take ICT to a class of 22 doing GCSE ICT; that cost us 2 full time teachers You have to put a lot of blame on the Wolf report, not just the new CS curriculum; which in turn is our fault for giving 5 GCSEs for the same time as other subjects.
    If you remove the benefit of a GCSE fiddle, SLT are not going to be so nice to our subject and remove hours.
  20. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Another problem is that the old management view that anybody can teach ICT has been carried over into the teaching of CS. Look at the number of people asking for advice on how to teach CS on this forum. No training in place so people learning CS as they are teaching it guarantee poor student engagement and poor CS results which just hastens the end of CS.
    Less than half of all English state schools offer GCSE CS.

    I predict that the number of schools offering CS will rapidly decline. CS will become a niche subject in state schools, like Greek.

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