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Pupils Let Down by Lack of Teacher’s IT Skills

Tuesday 29th March 2011

An Ofsted report, called ’Meeting technological challenges?, draws on evidence from inspectors’ design and technology (D&T) subject survey visits to primary and secondary schools. Ofsted inspectors found that a considerable challenge facing schools is the modernisation of the D&T curriculum so that it keeps pace with technological developments. Addressing this issue is essential to help improve IT resources in secondary schools.

Ofsted found that many teachers were not keeping up with technological developments or expanding upon their initial training sufficiently to enable them to teach the technically demanding aspects of the curriculum. More outstanding teaching was seen in secondary schools visited, where lessons included up-to-date technologies which were demonstrated and explained accurately to pupils. However, in around a third of the secondary schools, too little use was made of electronics, computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD and CAM) and control technology in the teaching of D&T, says Ofsted. Consequently, the take-up of GCSE courses in electronics and in systems and control was low, reflecting the national picture.

John Botham, education director at D-Link and a former government advisor said: "IT in schools today is a lot more than simply having a dedicated suite of computers on site which teachers and pupils can access. It is no longer a standalone subject for study but a tool for education as much as books or desks, so it is a case of IT being properly being embedded into the curriculum from both a training and technology perspective.

"The UK is still leading the way when it comes to making intelligent and creative use of technology to educate its children," he continued. "However, the Ofsted report is worrying as we could soon start falling behind unless there is continued investment in skills and technology.


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