More Teens Take ICT GCSE – But Grades Go Down
Uptake rises, but just like in other subjects ICT grades are worse than in 2011
More teenagers took the ICT GCSE this year, but there was a decline in the proportion of A* and A grades across the UK.
Today’s GCSE results showed 53,197 took ICT at GCSE level, up from 47,128 in 2011. Yet 7.1 percent received A* grades in 2012, compared to 9.3 percent the year before, whilst 21.6 percent got a non-starred A, compared to 22.8 percent in 2011.
Whilst the results may look bad for ICT, the decline in grades was symptomatic of falls across the board. Today saw the first ever decline in GCSE grades in the exam’s 24-year history,as 69.4 percent of entries earned grades A*-C, compared with 69.8 percent last year.
Real world skills
The turnaround in GCSE take-up may surprise some, given the declining numbers of students taking the ICT GCSE in previous years – which went down by 33 percent between 2006 and 2009. Teaching of ICT in schools has been lambasted over the past few years for not teaching skills that will be applicable in the real world.
The government has announced plans to overhaul the teaching of IT in schools and a number of examining boards have unveiled new GCSEs, including AQA, which recently unveiled a new GCSE in computer science, focusing on developing practical skills needed to enter the industry.
The current programme of ICT teaching in English schools is to be scrapped as part of a wider review into the national curriculum. Schools will continue to teach ICT, but they will not be told what pupils should study until a new ICT curriculum is implemented in 2014.
A-level results from last week showed the number of teenagers opting to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) was up 3.1 percent on last year and 29.2 percent on 2007.
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