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Industry Experts Warn that A-Level IT Curriculum Needs an Urgent Review

Wednesday 24th August 2011

According to Computer Weekly today, this year’s A-level results show a 1.8% drop in the number of students taking IT-related A-levels, with 15,962 students studying for ICT and computing A-levels in 2011, compared with 16,251 last year. The industry body, Intellect, has said that this shows that the ICT and computing curriculum needs an ’urgent review’.

"The number of young people taking ICT or computing A-levels has fallen yet again. This gives further weight to Intellect’s previous demands that the way these subjects are taught needs urgent review. If this trend is not reversed soon, the skills gap in the UK IT sector is going to get much worse," said John Higgins, director general at Intellect.

Karen Price, the CEO of sector skills council E-skills UK, added that the results are disappointing in face of demand for half a million new entrants to the IT profession over the next five years. She said: "Achievement is also lower with just 3.7% of students gaining A* grades, compared to the average across all A-level subjects at 8.2%. The proportion of females sitting the Computer A-level continues to decline, down to 8%," said Price.
"The students of today are the IT professionals and business leaders of tomorrow and we must reverse this trend. That is why employers are supporting the need for curriculum reform, with the intention to create new A-levels and GCSEs in IT that will be highly regarded by both universities and employers, and sought after by students," she said.

Computer Weekly has launched an information resource called IT Works to empower the digital economy through IT skills and training.

 

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