The 2015 A-level results, released yesterday, give an insight into the turning tide of IT in education; the subject of Computing is on the rise, whilst ICT is in decline.
The results show that, in Wales, both the number and percentage of students receiving a grade C or higher in A-level Computing increased compared to 2014, whilst both the number and percentage of students receiving a grade C and above in A-level ICT had decreased over the same period.
Computing Increases Numbers and Performance; ICT See Decline in Both
The results, released by the Joint Council for Qualifications show that, in 2015, the number of students sitting exams in A-level Computing was 290, with 50.7% of examinees (147 students) receiving a grade C or higher. In 2014, 239 students sat the Computing exam, with 50.6% (120 students) receiving the C grade or higher - an increase in both numbers and overall performance from 2014 to 2015.
A-level ICT, on the on the other hand, saw 848 students sitting the exam in 2015, with 45.2% (383 students) receiving a grade C or higher. In 2014, 874 students sat the exam, with 55.4% (484 students) passing with a grade C or higher - a decrease in both student numbers and overall performance from 2014 to 2015.
Computing - The New Kid on the Block
Computing, which tends to have more of a focus on programming and the understanding of computation and digital technology, entered the mainstream curriculum in September 2013 as part of the then education secretary Michael Gove’s intention to replace the ICT curriculum, in order to create “a generation of young people able to work at the forefront of technological change”.
The subject of ICT is, for now at least, still dominant compared to Computing, being studied by two thirds more students across the UK, although the gap between the two subjects is being eroded. Between the two subjects though, student numbers rose by more than 6% from 2014 to 2015.