ICT in UK Schools: Contents page

Our Vision
All those involved in education - primarily teachers but also parents and those administering it - have been beleaguered by changes and initiatives for initiatives' sake as they have never been beleaguered before. We have very great sympathy with the constant plea for stability, for consistency, and for support to enable teachers to do their jobs.

Why then another report containing a clarion call for changes and initiatives?

We have concluded that if the next government does not take steps to intensify the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in our schools, a generation of children - and a generation of adults as teachers - will have been put at enormous disadvantage with consequences for the UK that will be difficult to reverse. What precisely do we seek?

All young people - whether they have access to ICT at home or not - should be able to apply a basic confidence and competence in the use of ICT to all aspects of their learning experience.

Teachers in turn should be so confident and competent in the use of ICT that they are able to use it in all aspects of their daily work.

And in the longer term
We wish to see a society within ten years where ICT has permeated the entirety of education (as it will the rest of society) so that it is no longer a talking point but taken for granted - rather as electricity has come to be.

These are substantial objectives. To achieve them will require single minded vision, commitment and stamina from government. Benign neglect, one-off short-term initiatives and over-reliance on the market are likely to fail.

Which brings us to how these objectives can best be achieved:

First, they will happen only if government firmly commits towards ICT in education as one of a very small number of strategic initiatives.

Second, we do not see any "quick fix" big idea or programme that will achieve these objectives. It is emphatically not that simple. We envisage a coherently managed set of initiatives that if progressed in parallel will achieve the desired long term objectives.

© The Independent ICT in School Commission 1996/7. All rights reserved. Contents page