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OFQUAL have dumped IT (GCSE and A Level)

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by madcat, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Hidden away in this document about geology and PE reforms is this paragraph

    The reformed computer science GCSE and A levels provide a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study and for employment. Students will develop the computational thinking skills needed for today’s economy – including coding and important information technology topics such as cyber security, networking and data storage. In the last year alone, the numbers studying computer science GCSE have more than doubled.
    It is right that schools continue to focus on the digital knowledge that will best prepare young people for further study and employment. Ministers have therefore taken the decision not to approve two GCSEs and A levels in a similar qualification space.
    The IT GCSE and IT A level will not be redeveloped.

    It doesn't affect me any more, but I think many of you out there should be raging about this.

    How on earth can such a major reform be announced in this fashion ?
  2. going grey quickly

    going grey quickly New commenter

    I have just read it and am stunned; have these ministers been in the work place recently? Have they not seen that the vast majority of the working population need IT not computer skills? That being able to use facebook is not IT!

    What about those unable to access computer science?

    Have they not realised the increase in numbers is more to do with league tables?

    In terms of how it has been announced, in my view its typical and although you would expect better I'm no longer suprised
  3. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    To be fare, I am so surprised at this, 100,000 pupils took ICT in one form or another last year. I am presuming that Cambridge Nationals and BTEC will still be allowed, but will they be allowed on the performance tables? I always said that this government hate ICT and I think this proves it.
  4. itgeek

    itgeek New commenter

    I can't say that any of this really surprises me, I suspect other A level courses will go a similar way. A clear division is starting to open up now between Vocational and Academic subject choices. Like Madcat I am not really involved any more. The big picture seems to me to be back to the 70's.
  5. NeitherMouseNorSock

    NeitherMouseNorSock New commenter

    The people on the CAS forum seem to have only just realised that they are the turkeys who voted for Christmas. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
  6. sirspamalotless

    sirspamalotless Occasional commenter

    Removing ICT GCSE is a very good thing and I hope CAS write to Nicky Morgan, praising her for removing what for too long has been an easy GCSE to cheat in. As a qualification it lacks an identity and purpose because ICT is such a broad catch-all subject, and let's all be honest for a moment - it is taken by large numbers of students because it is easy to push nearly all students through the course, not because it has merit of any kind.

    It's not the death of skills though. There can still be room in KS3 to teach some ICT packages. Subject teachers should incorporate teaching some specific ICT package tools into their own lessons. Vocational and Key Skills qualifications and non-Progress 8 courses can still be taught in KS4.

    Well done, Nicky! This is the first thing you have got right. It's a shame you made such a mess of the workload problems teachers face. After the large majority of ICT teachers are made redundant in a few years, you'll be lucky to have any Computer Science teachers still in the classroom and not off with stress ......
    needabreak and spam66 like this.
  7. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    We are in the complete mess we are in now because of the decade of rubbish dumbed down courses churned out under the three terms of Labour Government. Any ICT course was an easy course to cheat in, and still is, and anyone could get at least a C with very little work. The joke that was the Cambridge Nationals then in particular was a major cause of the lack of any credibility of ICT courses now. The tedium that the GCSE had become had to be experienced to be believed.
  8. Khashoggi

    Khashoggi New commenter

    No school is going to run a course that does not attract progress 8 points, so unless the vocational quals count in one of the final 3 buckets they won't be taught in the vast majority of schools
    spam66 likes this.
  9. ICT Don

    ICT Don New commenter

    They do.
  10. Khashoggi

    Khashoggi New commenter

    But for how long? There was already the debacle of the Camb Nat being removed then reinstated at the 11th hour. Would it have hurt the Dfe to say that although GCSE & A Level is being removed, there is the intention to continue a suite of vocational ICT qualifications. This would then have prevented a lot of this conjecture and worry.
    spam66 likes this.
  11. itgeek

    itgeek New commenter

    Probably true
  12. itgeek

    itgeek New commenter

    Some of us can remember John Majors reform of vocational qualifications that led to GNVQ, prior to that only a few courses mainly BTEC first diploma really existed in IT (as it was then known not ICT) as a course for 16-17 year olds who had failed to achieve 4 GCSE grade C's. These courses were largely taught in FE colleges. Schools only started offering IT qualifications between 14-16 when they had to justify 4 GCSE passes. This was what the GNVQ was equivalent to. So the dumbing down has been going on since well before the Labour years. City and Guilds 726 is another one from the 80's but we will forget that.
  13. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Once EBacc comes into full effect (another pronouncement - sorry consultation - yesterday (3/11/15))
    I think in mainstream schools the days of anything outside of the "academic core" of GCSEs may well be numbered.

    oh and yes , little lambs you'll be spared because you teach CS - an EBacc subject ........ yea right
  14. Khashoggi

    Khashoggi New commenter

    If ICT goes at KS4 and 5 and does not have a vocational replacement that counts towards progress 8, then we may be looking at redundancies at my school. A level Computer Science is in danger of being scrapped from next September due to low numbers in the changing KS5 landscape. Teaching the Y12 & 13 ICT students at the same time for the cwk units was the only way I was able to keep both subjects running.
    spam66 likes this.
  15. JM6699

    JM6699 New commenter

    There is no point going back to a debate that has been had on these forums for years about Mickey Mouse ICT courses - I think most people accept that courses like the OCR Nationals were severely flawed.

    I teach CS, I enjoy teaching CS, but it is not for everyone. The main concern about this pronouncement yesterday is that they are not going to be reviewed, meaning a massive gap for the tens of thousands of students who are suited to and like ICT. As madcat said, there seems to be a focus on the academic core at the expense of everything else. A quick look at music, art, performing arts, catering, etc. should tell you all you need to know.
  16. MrIT

    MrIT New commenter

    Heard from Pearson today that their BTEC L2 ICT will be continuing.
  17. compoit

    compoit New commenter

    In Leeds today at the launch of the OCR Cambridge Technicals 2016 suite - looks like we may be going with that in 2017 as that will be continuing.
    spam66 likes this.
  18. MrIT

    MrIT New commenter

    Is that L2 or 3 or both compoit? I know the L3 is continuing but not sure if there even is a L2 qual?
  19. compoit

    compoit New commenter

    Only looked at the level 3 which is still running and is new. We will use this to replace our AS & A level courses in 2017. However, I can't see WJEC/Eduqas taking this lightly so I would expect they may roll something out for 2017 or revamp an existing course. We have been with them for many years so will look at their offering if it materialises.
  20. MrIT

    MrIT New commenter

    I think our new curriculum for 2017 will be CS at KS4 for elites leading to A Level CS. BTEC ICT L2 leading to L3 for the rest. Just the four new courses to plan then :)

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