MIchael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, delivered a speech at the BETT Show in London on 11th January that slammed ICT in the National Curriculum. Mr Gove announced the withdrawal of the curriculum orders in September. The changes he described offer science departments a range of opportunities to think freely about digital apllications in science teaching.
The text and video of his speech is here http://www.education.gov.uk/a00201868/michael-gove-speech-at-the-bett-show-2012
Mr Gove gave his speech the day before publication of the Royal Society report " Shut down or restart? The way forward for computing in UK schools."
This report has implications for science teaching across the UK, not least because science graduates, in particular physics specialists, are likely to have the mathematical and computing skills that will be in short supply.
The report and video introduction can be found on the Royal Society website http://royalsociety.org/education/policy/computing-in-schools/report/
, or downloaded at the foot of this page. "...the role of Computer Science as a discipline itself and as an ‘underpinning’ subject across science and engineering is growing rapidly.This alone is motivation enough, but as this report shows, the arguments for reforming Computing education are not purely utilitarian. It is becoming increasingly clear that studying Computer Science provides a ‘way of thinking’ in the same way that mathematics does, and that there are therefore strong educational arguments for taking a careful look at how and when we introduce young people to the subject.
The Government has recognised the need for more high quality Computer Science teaching, and has committed to exploring the best ways to achieve this. Our report therefore provides a particularly timely source of evidence that will be needed to inform important policy decisions relating to the National Curriculum in England and to support a drive towards improving Computing education throughout the UK."Sir Paul Nurse FRS
From the President's Foreword to the report