Ofsted have released their latest report into ICT in schools.
Some key findings.
- The overall effectiveness of ICT was good or outstanding in over two thirds of the primary schools visited. In contrast, just over a third of the secondary schools visited were considered good or outstanding for the overall effectiveness of ICT. Many of the weaknesses seen in the secondary school sample, including weak use of assessment and the degree of challenge posed by the Key Stage 4 vocational curriculum, echo findings similar to those of Ofsted’s previous ICT report.
- Pupils’ achievement in ICT was good or outstanding in over half of the primary schools visited over the three years of the survey. Achievement was good or outstanding in 29 of the 74 secondary schools visited, and was inadequate in almost a fifth. Achievement in the secondary schools was adversely affected by the lack of effective challenge for higher-attaining students and poor coverage of key aspects of the ICT curriculum, especially at Key Stage 4.
- The ICT curriculum and qualification routes provided by nearly half of the secondary schools surveyed were not meeting the needs of all students, especially at Key Stage 4. In these schools a single vocational examination course was taken by all students, limiting challenge to the more able, or ICT was offered as an option to some students with others not receiving the full National Curriculum. As a result, in 30 of the 74 schools visited nearly half of the students reach the age of 16 without a sound foundation for further study or training in ICT and related subjects.
- In the majority of primary schools there were regular audits of staff’s professional development needs. The approach was less systematic in secondary schools, where inspectors saw very few examples of any evaluation of the impact of training on the effectiveness of teaching or on pupils’ learning.
- Most of the schools either had a virtual learning environment in full use or were in the process of installing one. Where schools were making regular use of a virtual learning environment, they had been able to enhance and enrich many aspects of school life, including the quality of learning resources, communications with parents, and assessment and tracking processes.
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