Pupils Suffer as Industry Lures Quality ICT Teachers; EDUCATION: Damning Report
Byline: RHODRI EVANS
POOR computing lessons in schools could point to an underlying problem of recruiting high calibre graduates trained to become IT teachers.
The annual report of Wales's chief inspector of Susan Lewis revealed that in secondary schools 38pc of information technology lessons were below standard.
In the report she said, "Standards in using information and communications technology (ICT) across the curriculum have not improved much since last year.
"The amount of good work is similar to last year but there is slightly less unsatisfactory work.
"Schools write whole school policies for ICT to help subject departments build ICT activities in to their schemes of work.
"However, there is not enough detailed planning and consultation between subject teachers and information technology teachers for pupils' skills to improve from year to year.
"English, Welsh, geography and history departments generally use ICT a lot, but this does not happen as often in other subjects."
There are increasing concerns that the high demand for computer-trained graduates means teaching is unable to compete in a competitive marketplace for those with the necessary skills.
Geraint Davies of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers has now warned there is little use in having the best equipment without capable staff to instruct youngsters how to use it.
He said, "It is down to the calibre of the graduates that are available. At the end of the day our best ICT trained graduates go elsewhere because other jobs, if in industry or science in general, pay a far better wage than teaching.
"It comes down to the old adage that teaching these days is not such an attractive proposition to young people. This is especially true of those that are computer trained.
"Teaching is failing to compete in terms of the labour market.
"For a long time teachers with any interest in ICT have been coerced in to being ICT teachers, but ICT should not be looked upon as a hobby or a second string. …