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Written Statement - Response to the report of the ICT Steering Group

Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills

In January 2013, my predecessor established an independent steering group to explore and consider the future of computer science and ICT in schools in Wales. The membership of the group was comprised of representatives from a cross-section of key stakeholders and was chaired by Stuart Arthur, Box UK, Tom Crick, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Janet Hayward, Cadoxton Primary School. The group was tasked with delivering a report which set out their recommendations on a way forward and which considered, amongst others, the following themes:

  • ‘ICT’ in schools needs to be re-branded, re-engineered and made relevant to now and to the future.
  • Digital literacy is the start and not the end point – learners need to be taught to create as well as to consume.
  • Computer science should be introduced at primary school and developed over the course of the curriculum so that learners can progress into a career pathway in the sector.
  • Skills, such as creative problem-solving, should be reflected in the curriculum.
  • Revised qualifications need to be developed in partnership with schools, Higher Education and industry.

The report of the ICT Steering Group (external link), published in October, posed some very significant questions and explored themes that I committed to considering during the next stage of work in our review of curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales. On 12 March I announced that I had appointed Professor Graham Donaldson to take forward this work as chair of a wide-reaching and independent review. I am sure that the group’s report will prove invaluable to his work as he draws together recommendations aimed at supporting the delivery of a Curriculum for Wales.

Today I have published my interim response to the ICT Steering Group report (external link) and I would like to once again thank Janet, Stuart, Tom, and members of the group for all their work in producing the report and its recommendations. I would also like to express my gratitude to everyone who worked alongside them, contributed to their work, and to those who provided responses to the consultation exercise that took place.