The Future of ICT in the UK National Curriculum – June 2012

Everyone with an interest in the future of ICT in UK schools has been waiting with bated breath to find out what will happen to ICT in the school Curriculum.

On 11th June Michael Gove sent a letter to the Curriculum Review panel (the full letter can be read on the DFE Website ) in which he explained his plan to continue the disapplication of the ICT SOW and related attainment targets, but he again stresses that ICT remains a COMPULSORY part of the curriculum. He also hinted at what is to come for ICT in the future including this paragraph;

…while it will be for schools to shape their own curricula, we will maintain a requirement for the teaching of art and design, design and technology, geography, history, ICT, music and physical education across all the primary years. Programmes of Study in these subjects will, however, be much shorter to allow for the maximum level of innovation at school level in the development of content in these areas.

where he again stressed the future of ICT, certainly in the Primary years. This letter prompted the following response from Naace (The ICT Association).

It is an exciting time for ICT in schools at the moment and Naace, the ICT Association, whose mission is to advance education through the use of technology, welcomes the announcement by the Secretary of State this morning that ICT is set to remain part of the National Curriculum for 2014 and the future. The value of ICT in our children’s education and as an integral part of their lives, society and industry has been recognised by maintaining its role as a compulsory part of the National Curriculum in all key stages. ICT remains a compulsory part of the curriculum until then, although, as expected, the current programmes of study and attainment targets are disapplied from September.

Miles Berry, Naace Board of Management Chair, said, “It’s not surprising that the Secretary of State has decided to proceed with his plans to ‘disapply’ the ICT programmes of study and attainment targets. We know many Naace members are eager to respond to the opportunities this provides to develop an up to date, creative and challenging curriculum tailored to the needs, interests and aspirations of their pupils. It’s interesting that today’s announcement comes alongside Gove’s rejection of the National Curriculum Expert Panel’s recommendation that ICT be relegated to the ‘basic curriculum’ in 2014, perhaps recognising that in the third millennium the right to a broad technological education isn’t something which can be just left for individual schools to determine. The plans for a statutory ICT programme of study in 2014 which will “be much shorter to allow for the maximum level of innovation at school level in the development of content”, seems a good balance between an entitlement for everyone and the space to innovate for all that can.”

Schools will now be looking to build on successful aspects of their current practice. As provision is reviewed and areas to develop are identified, Naace and its members and sponsors continue to support schools and teachers in the process with our ICT Curriculum Framework, which provides an outline of those areas of knowledge, skills and understanding which will enable a broad and balanced learning experience. It includes those aspects of computing and programming that many now see as vital.

In December 2011 the Department published The Framework for the National Curriculum, a report by the Expert Panel which advised the National Curriculum review. Since then Ministers have been considering the panel’s recommendations, informed by consultation with stakeholders. The Secretary of State has now written to Tim Oates, the Chair of the panel, with his response to the panel’s recommendations for the primary curriculum.

New draft Programmes of Study for primary English, mathematics and science have also been published today. These drafts are a starting point for discussion with key stakeholders at this stage, but there will be a full public consultation on revised drafts which will start towards the end of this year.

Copies of both the letter and the draft Programmes of Study can be found at:

The Secretary of State will make a further announcement on the future of the National Curriculum as it applies to secondary schools in due course.
The Government has also decided to proceed with the proposal to disapply the current Programmes of Study for ICT from September 2012, having carefully considered the responses to the recent public consultation. The consultation report is available on the Departments website . As part of this decision, Ministers have confirmed that ICT will continue to be a compulsory subject at all four key stages in the new National Curriculum

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑