‘Bored’ pupils liberated in ICT lessons

By Alex Stevenson

British schoolchildren are to be encouraged to embrace their inner nerd through changes to the ICT curriculum.

Education secretary Michael Gove will tell the Bett conference that pupils are "bored out of their minds" by the current rules – and announce the government is removing the requirement on teachers to stick to it.

In its place he hopes schools will adopt high school teaching programmes developed by experts. He will cite a curriculum drawn up by the British Computer Society with input from technology firms like Microsoft and Google.

"As the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, recently lamented, we in England have allowed our education system to ignore our great heritage and we are paying the price for it," Mr Gove will say.

"Our school system has not prepared children for this new world. Millions have left school over the past decade without even the basics they need for a decent job.

"And the current curriculum cannot prepare British students to work at the very forefront of technological change."

Mr Gove hopes that a "dramatic change" could be achieved in only a few years.

"Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word and Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations using an MIT tool called Scratch," he will add.

"By 16, they could have an understanding of formal logic previously covered only in university courses and be writing their own Apps for smartphones."