Welsh school kids 'disadvantaged' by English ICT curriculum change

School kids in Wales may be left behind in digital education once the new ICT curriculum starts in England in September, reports the BBC.

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School kids in Wales may be left behind in digital education once the new ICT curriculum starts in England in September, reports the BBC.

While changes to the curriculum in England make it mandatory to teach coding and computing in primary and secondary schools from this September, it will not be mandatory in Wales for at least another four years under devolved education plans.

Although a number of schools in Wales already teach computer coding, the fact that it is not on the curriculum will mean uneven opportunities for Welsh kids.

The Welsh government is currently undertaking a a review of the whole Welsh curriculum, which will consider the future of ICT education, among other subjects.

A report on ICT, produced by Welsh government advisor Dr Tom Crick, will form part of that review. But Crick says Welsh school kids will be disadvantaged.

He told the BBC: "We're looking at our competitiveness against other countries, who have already made these significant changes and very clear declarations about how they see computing education as being very, very important."

Tom Kelly, chairman of the Welsh government's ICT sector panel, said that without the necessary IT skills, people in Wales could miss out on technology jobs.

"There will be people coming into Wales who have got the competencies and the skills to be able to fill the jobs, which should be filled by people in Wales," he told the BBC.

A Welsh government spokesperson told the BBC that "digital literacy would be a vital element in informing its curriculum review" and that "work to develop a teaching framework for it was under way".

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