The importance of ICT- New UK Report

‘The importance of ICT: information and communication technology in primary and secondary schools, 2005/2008′

clip_image001Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) have recently published a comprehensive new report on the importance of ICT in primary & secondary schools. The report draws on evidence from the inspection of ICT in more than 177 schools between 2005 and 2008, with the schools selected representing a range nationally and included small, large, rural and urban schools from across England. The quality of provision of ICT in primary and secondary schools and its impact on achievement and standards are explored initially with the four key areas central to developing ICT education;
assessment, ICT qualifications and progression routes, direct access to ICT provision in classrooms and value for money, discussed later in the report.

Being forty pages long its difficult to summarise in just a few paragraphs however some of the key findings include…

  • The leadership of ICT had improved during the period of the survey and the schools visited had made ICT a high priority for development.
  • Investment in resources had improved teaching, but had still not made ICT a part of everyday learning.
  • Using ICT was contributing positively to the personal development and future economic well-being of students, developing their skills of working independently and cooperatively and was in most cases motivating and engaging.
  • Support for pupils with learning difficulties was mostly good, enabling them to make at least the progress expected.
  • Most of the teachers observed had good subject knowledge in some aspects of ICT and were confident and competent users of it.
  • Assessment was the weakest aspect of teaching and was inadequate in one school in five. The schools visited rarely tracked the progress of individuals in
    ICT.

When the survey was started in 2005, achievement was good in over one in three of the primary schools visited, satisfactory in around half of the schools, and unsatisfactory in one in seven. At this time, none of the schools visited had outstanding achievement in ICT. However, during the latter part of the survey,
pupils were making good progress in two thirds of the schools visited, including three where their achievement was outstanding.

One can only surmise what the findings  might be if a similar study was conducted in Ireland but its difficult to imagine results being near as positive and would probably only serve to highlight the increasing educational digital divide between us and our nearest neighbour.

Download the full report (PDF)

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