60% of parents are not aware or unsure of changes to the computing curriculum which come in to effect this September. The new curriculum will focus on computer science, information technology and digital literacy and is set to be the biggest change to the way IT is taught since computers were first introduced into schools.
The latest survey by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT also reveals that 88% of parents think learning computing will help their child be more successful in life – yet only 48% say they would encourage their children to study the subject to GCSE or A level.
Bill Mitchell, BCS Director of Education says: “It’s great that parents recognise just how important computing is and they think learning about it will help their child be more successful, but the fact they are less enthusiastic when it comes to encouraging their child to take a computing qualification is a real worry. Virtually everything we do these days depends on technology so it’s important children learn about it and can study the underlying principles that explain how computing works. There is a huge demand for people with the right skills to work in technology and it is vital that we encourage youngsters to consider careers in this field.”
The new curriculum has been specially developed to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need throughout the rest of their lives. Youngsters will learn how computers and computer systems work, how to design and build programmes, and how to develop their ideas using technology.
Bill concludes: “Interestingly, 67% of parents questioned in our survey also said they think we need more people who can invent technology to solve the world’s problems. These future inventors could well be their own children – if they are given the right support, encouragement and education.
We know that pupils from primary school onwards enjoy and are good at computing and that it aids their intellectual development, literacy and numeracy skills. Learning the fundamental principles and techniques of computer science is also important for the development of the UK’s future engineers, scientists and creators of technology.”