Naace Press Release - Gove's speech at BETT 2012

Author: Michelle Cank
Press Release - Naace response to Michael Gove's speech at BETT 2012 on Wednesday 11 January 2012

Naace Press Release – Gove’s speech at BETT.

Michael Gove’s speech at BETT today (11th January 2012) sets out a challenge to the ICT profession. Naace has no doubt about the importance of a broad, rigorous technological education for all children and agree wholeheartedly with the Secretary of State that our curriculum should prepare our students to be at the forefront of technological change and about technology’s power to transform learning beyond the school, as well as in the classroom.

Naace’s own ICT Impact Awards and 3rd Millennium Learning Award make clear that the best practice in schools is already excellent with pupils using digital technology in challenging, creative and innovative ways. Pupils in these schools are already developing the Scratch games and smart phone apps that the Secretary of State looks forward to seeing. The challenge now is about bringing the provision in all schools up to the level of the best. The Self-review Framework which Naace administer on the Department for Education’s behalf offers one route to this goal.

In response to the Secretary of State’s comments regarding the responsibility of schools to recognise the strategic importance of ICT Naace reaffirms its commitment as a Professional Association to digital technologies in the widest sense, to the transformative power of ICT in education and to supporting strategic leadership. The Naace strategic leadership programme, Total, will be of significant importance in helping schools achieve the Secretary of State’s vision.

Naace welcomes the growing interest of the commercial and higher education sectors in supporting curriculum development that focuses on computer science at GCSE and would urge the Secretary of State to confirm the status of the subject by including it alongside the other sciences in the English Baccalaureate. Preparation for this and alternative pathways such as business use of IT and digital arts at 16+ will require a broad, rigorous curriculum at KS3, as Naace is currently developing. Many primary schools have rich, integrated provision for ICT but, here too, schools can’t rest on their laurels and Naace will be developing its own ICT curriculum for KS1 and 2, built around ideas of collaboration, creativity and authentic problem solving.

Naace members will relish the freedom to develop their own innovative, challenging schemes of work for IT and computing in their schools, perhaps using or adapting those developed by Naace itself and other organisations. 

Freedom though, brings responsibility. After dated schemes of work from QCA and undemanding GCSE specifications, many teachers and schools are likely to need support in using the liberty given them by Mr Gove to provide the best possible education for their pupils. Naace, its members and partners stand ready to help. The continuing development of the profession has long been a Naace priority. If the nation’s children are to receive the technological education they deserve, then teachers have to respond positively to the opportunities now open to them, working and learning together to develop the subject knowledge and teaching expertise which these new freedoms represent.

Given how quickly technology advances, the traditional approach to developing new programmes of study would indeed be unlikely to keep pace. Naace has been consistently highlighting the rapid change in technology which requires schools, teachers and exam boards to respond faster than educational change systems have previously allowed.

The Naace Conference in March will bring together teachers to review current approaches to the ICT curriculum and this will be repeated annually to keep a check on whether examinations are changing fast enough. We invite all examination boards and other organisations such as Computing at School to join us for these discussions to produce a joint annual report to stimulate continuing debate.

Notes for Editors

  1. Naace is the professional association for those concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of information and communications technology (ICT). Naace administers the ICT Mark and provides Help Desk Support for the Self-review Framework. It created the Naacemark for Schools scheme, which was a predecessor of the ICT Mark.
  2. The Self-review framework is an online tool launched in April 2006 to assist schools in identifying, improving and benchmarking the use of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in learning, teaching and management of schools. Schools evaluate their progress against a 5-level scale for aspects of development grouped under six major elements  Since its introduction, over 19,500  schools have used it to review and plan their use of technology.
  3. Naace ICT KS3 Curriculum can be found at

Contact at BETT:
Bernadette Brooks: Naace, PO Box 6511, Nottingham, NG11 8TN

Tel 0115 945 7235

Related links:

Naace Press Release - Gove's speech at BETT 2012
Press Release - Naace response to Michael Gove's speech at BETT 2012 on Wednesday 11 January 2012