Secondary School Not Offering "Compulsory" Computing

(10 Posts)
AnnaLP Thu 14-Jul-16 10:07:05

As far as I can tell (https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum/key-stage-3-and-4) the national curriculum states that Computing is compulsory at key stage 3 and 4, but I have just found out that the secondary school DS starts in September (into Y7) doesn't have a computing teacher and there will be no formal lessons in computing.
Just wondered how common is this?
And can a state school just decide to not offer a compulsory subject?

catslife Thu 14-Jul-16 10:29:03

What type of "state" school is your ds going to be attending in September?
If it's an academy (or free school), they don't have to follow the national curriculum.

merlottime Thu 14-Jul-16 17:27:20

There is a teacher shortage across most subjects. As a relatively new subject, there aren't enough teachers with the right background to teach computing. There may be little that the school can do about it if they can't get a computing teacher.

cricketballs Thu 14-Jul-16 18:41:39

If it is an academy; they don't have to offer the National Curriculum

also as merlottime said we are also facing a shortage in teaching in general , out in particular maths, sciences and computer science specialists

We still have our timetable as classed as IT - the national curriculum covers not only CS but also digital literacy and in the IT lessons we cover both

AnnaLP Sat 16-Jul-16 07:08:50

Thanks for your replies - sorry for my late one (had to do some real work!).

Yes the school is an academy and, apparently, last year they just had one computing/IT teacher who taught KS3 and 4. But she has left and now they have no computing/IT teachers at all. DS very into computing - and not just games - his primary used Scratch and Raspberry Pis so he/we had just assumed computing would be on the curriculum. The schools literature says they teach "Digital Literacy and Computing" but they don't anymore.
Still be interested to know how common this is or will DS be in the minority if he doesn't do Computing at school?

PotteringAlong Sat 16-Jul-16 07:12:19

It's very common. Most ict teachers have no or little qualifications in computing - as I understand it they are very different subjects.

irvineoneohone Sat 16-Jul-16 07:31:58

Try these sites himself?

www.khanacademy.org/computing

www.codecademy.com/

www.w3schools.com/

Luciferbox Sat 16-Jul-16 07:45:51

Yep, sounds about right. DH is an IT teacher who funded himself through a university evening computing class. He's the only one in his school who can now teach it but there are 3 other members of staff who have no training and just can't deliver it to the required standard.

Badbadbunny Sat 16-Jul-16 11:11:28

They don't do it at DS's school either as a standalone subject. But they're heavily into it as part of other lessons, i.e. CAD drawing in IT, photo-shop in Art, etc., and in most subjects they are required to do Power Point presentations. The kids seem to just learn it themselves as they're probably more IT literate than teachers these days anyway.

magnetite Sat 16-Jul-16 13:18:24

As Badbadbunny said, IT is generally cross-curricular these days.

Computer Science is more academic. The gvt may have made it a compulsory NC subject, but there certainly aren't enough teachers to teach it.

You're lucky to have had it in primary - our primary (a relatively small one) is not doing much at all yet, and that's a maintained school not an academy.

Our secondary (academy) has just lost its one and only Comp Sci teacher. But to be honest she wasn't very good, so at least it leaves room for someone else to be recruited. Unfortunately they got no applicants when they advertised.

On the bright side, there are many ways for kids to get involved in coding and electronics outside of school. that's the way it always was before Comp Sci became compulsory anyway, and those routes will still be important during the transition period until enough new teachers can be trained.

The British Computer Society are now getting involved in teacher training, so numbers may increase gradually, so long as they're not all snapped up by private schools.

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