Dear Mr Rometsch
Thank you for your email dated 9 October addressed to the Secretary of State about ICT in the Curriculum. I am sure you will appreciate that as the Secretary of State receives a great deal of correspondence he is unable to respond to each one personally. On this occasion I have been asked to reply on his behalf.
As you may know, the department is currently undertaking a review of the National Curriculum. We want to restore the National Curriculum to its original purpose - a core national entitlement organised around subject disciplines. We have set out a phased timetable for the National Curriculum review. In phase one, we will design new Programmes of Study for those subjects - English, mathematics, science and physical education - that we have already confirmed will continue to be a part of the National Curriculum in all stages of a child's education. The new Programmes of Study for these subjects will be made available to schools in autumn 2012 for first teaching in September 2013.
Meanwhile, we will also consider which of the other subjects that currently form the National Curriculum, including ICT, should be part of the National Curriculum in the future and, if so, at which stages they should feature. The second phase of the review, starting in early 2012, will produce Programmes of Study for those other subjects remaining within the National Curriculum. These new Programmes of Study will be made available to schools in autumn 2013 for first teaching in 2014.
The Review has included a Call for Evidence to which interested stakeholders, both individuals and organisations, were invited to submit their views. We are aware that there is a highly vocal group within the computing community, including representatives from Microsoft, BCS (the Chartered Institute for Computing) and Computing at Schools that has been advocating that a more rigorous, programming-based subject should be included within the new National Curriculum. This group has made extensive submissions to the Call for Evidence about the importance of programming-based computing, and their contributions are being analysed at the moment.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to write with your views.
Public Communications Unit