Press Release - Response to the Ofsted ‘ICT in Schools 2008-2011’ Report

Author: Aga Kelly
Please see Naace's Response to the Ofsted ‘ICT in Schools 2008-2011’ Report below.

Naace Press Release: Response to the Ofsted ‘ICT in Schools 2008-2011’ Report

Embargoed until
00.01 Wednesday 14 December 2011

Naace (The ICT Association) welcomes the key findings in this report and fully supports the recommendations which both reflect the views and experiences of our members. We also endorse the recommendation that the Department for Education should: “set out clearly the pivotal role of ICT in school improvement and in preparing young people for higher education and for skilled work.”
Miles Berry, Naace Senior Vice-Chair says, “The report highlights the high standards to be found when ICT is studied in meaningful, curriculum-related contexts, a culture of peer support, a genuine sense that working with technology should be enjoyable and a clear vision for the role that digital technology can play in all aspects of school, personal and working life.”
The report reinforces our belief that we are rapidly moving to a position where there are two sorts of school. One where all pupils are challenged to both develop a comprehensive portfolio of digital skills and  their understanding of technology, with a clear vision for ICT’s contribution to learning and teaching and another where technology is marginalised and pupils entitlement to a rounded ICT education is, at best, patchy. We are pleased to learn that pupils with special needs and/or disabilities are well supported in the ICT lessons and are able to make good use of ICT adaptations in school and at home, often enabling them to achieve in line with their school peers. However, while noting the continuing good practice in many primary schools we share concerns regarding the breadth and rigour of ICT learning and teaching in many secondary schools.

Naace therefore welcomes Ofsted’s observations on the state of the ICT curriculum, that “weakness in the curriculum was the main factor contributing to poor achievement in schools”, and that “an inadequate curriculum was almost always a consequence of failure to provide the full National Curriculum programme of study”.  All pupils have an entitlement to develop a broad, rounded ICT capability, taking in essential digital literacy, the creative use of software and the understanding of technology which the study of computing provides.  Such a curriculum, studied by all up to the end of Key Stage 3, would allow pupils to make informed choices between challenging courses in new media, computer science or business uses of IT at 14-18 and beyond, enhancing both their career prospects and the countries long term economic well-being.

We therefore hope that those framing the new National Curriculum take note of these recommendations and remember that: “It is time to look afresh at what most students might be able achieve at the various key stages,” so that the opportunity that now exists for the creation of an ICT curriculum fit for Third Millennium Learning is not lost. Naace is currently developing a programme for ICT in KS3 which will be published in January 2012 and has been a key partner in developing The Schools Network paper ‘The Importance of Technology’ published on 13th December 2011 which further highlights the curriculum, assessment and examination needs of schools and learners.

We note with concern that too few teachers are sufficiently qualified to teach, assess and lead ICT, particularly in secondary schools, and that significant weaknesses remain in key areas such as assessment. As the report indicates, there continues to be a need for considerable and ongoing professional development for ICT leaders and for teachers.  Very specific training, in e.g. programming, will become a significant requirement if Naace recommendations are included in the revised National Curriculum. However, the report does not reflect the transformed environment for networked knowledge sharing through forums, social networks and Teachmeets, which have become a principle locus for professional development. Schools also continue to need high quality strategic advice and support.

There is a clear message in the report about the efforts schools are making to get best value whilst simultaneously looking to make effective use of technological innovations. One key message appears to be the need for schools to maintain a flexible approach. Naace is pleased to note the significant improvement in the use of virtual learning environments, as well as Ofsted’s recognition of schools use of laptops, tablets and handheld technology, including pupils’ own devices.

A recurring message from Ofsted here is on the need for schools to evaluate all aspects of their ICT strategy, and Naace welcomes Ofsted’s endorsement of the ICT Self Review Framework, which it currently manages on behalf of the Department for Education. As the report notes: "The vision in these outstanding schools was underpinned by comprehensive plans and robust, honest self-evaluation. National benchmarking schemes such as the Becta Self Review framework-review Framework and the ICT Mark were used systematically to diagnose current effectiveness.”

Bernadette Brooks, General Manager of Naace comments “We want to see schools ensuring that all pupils learning is enhanced by the appropriate use of technology inside and outside the classroom. Many of the issues raised in this report can be addressed by use of the highly valued Self-review Framework, the impact of which we believe is already evident in many primary schools.”

Only if weaker schools are challenged effectively will they tackle the many issues identified in the report. Naace therefore suggests that evaluation of core aspects of ICT should be included in a revised Framework for School Inspection in order that the pace and quality of development so evident in good and outstanding schools becomes more widespread.

Naace is looking forward to hearing more from Ofsted’s National Advisor for ICT, HMI David Brown, at its Annual Conference in Leicester, 8-10 March.


About Naace

Naace is the ICT association. We are a community of educators, technologists and policy makers who share a vision for the role of technology in advancing education. Our members include teachers, school leaders, advisors and consultants working within and across all phases of UK education. As a professional association, we represent the voice of the UK education technology community in the schools sector at a national and international level, as well as supporting one another across the sector through conferences, courses and the dissemination of resources, research and reflection. We play a key role in both members’ professional development, through the challenge and support of a community of practice, and the development of the profession as a whole, through the sharing of innovation and expertise.

Further details are available at

Press enquiries to Bernadette Brooks at, 07753 911436.

See full Ofsted Report details here:

Please see below Comment from Naace Sponsoring Partner - Adobe in response to the Ofsted report.

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Press Release - Response to the Ofsted ‘ICT in Schools 2008-2011’ Report
Please see Naace's Response to the Ofsted ‘ICT in Schools 2008-2011’ Report below.