Crawford, Roger (2011) ICT in English schools. Lambert Academic Publishing, Stuttgart, Germany. ISBN 9783844396720

Factors associated with high levels of ICT capability in pupils aged 14-16 in English schools

There has been concern for more than a decade that pupils do not have sufficient knowledge, skills and understanding of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the end of compulsory schooling. This research investigates schools' approaches to the organisation of the ICT curriculum, teaching and learning, management, staffing and resources that are associated with high levels of ICT capability among 14-16 year olds. The research was carried out at four secondary schools each of which organised the delivery of the ICT curriculum in different ways. These were discrete or 'centralised' ICT, cross curricular ICT; and hybrids of these, the 'skills core' and 'kick start' models (NCET, 1996). There are detailed case studies of each school, and a comparative analysis, which includes an assessment of the relative ICT capability of their pupils. The more and less successful schools are characterised, and there is discussion of the issues arising and those areas requiring further research.
Features associated with high levels of ICT capability include:

•ICT taught as a discrete subject throughout key stages 3 and 4, and pupils entered for GCSE ICT at the end of key stage 4
•There were well planned programmes of study for discrete ICT but the use of ICT across the curriculum was not planned in detail
•ICT teachers were more aware of the differences between teaching ICT and other subjects
•There was strong leadership by senior management; the HoD ICT was enthusiastic and approachable; and there were opportunities for all teachers to be involved in decision making
•There was a management committee that included senior managers, the HoD ICT and ICT teachers; and a user group with representatives from other subject departments
•Teachers of other subjects could not avoid using ICT in the classroom and for aspects of school administration
•Schools valued their investment in ICT resources
•There were significantly more specialist ICT teachers employed by the school
•There was an adequate quantity of modern ICT resources
•Higher levels of bid based funding were acquired

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