BBC: ICT to be replaced by CS in schools

From September, England’s schools will offer computer science classes instead of ICT (a.k.a. IT ‘skills’ such as PowerPoint and Excel):

The current programme of information and communications technology (ICT) study in England’s schools will be scrapped from September, the education secretary will announce later. The subject will be replaced by compulsory lessons in more rigorous computer science and programming.

Not sure how they’ll start this up so quickly, given this glaring problem:

“There are, of course, significant challenges to overcome, specifically with the immediate shortage of computer science teachers.”

See also this Guardian article: “Out of 28,000 teachers who qualified in 2010, just three individuals had a computer-related degree.” Similarly the case here, although the return of A-level Computing should imply that NIE will be doing something about training CS teachers.

I’m still on the fence about whether CS absolutely needs to be taught at a pre-tertiary level. There was some interesting discussion on this recently between a couple of Mac developers — see this blog post by Guy English on “Scripting is the New Literacy”, a response to this piece by Daniel Jalkut encouraging everyone to “Learn to Code”.

(News via Matt Johnston.)