'Dull' computer classes to be ditched

The days of teachers standing in front of a class delivering lessons could be over within a decade, Education Secretary Michael Gove said yesterday.

Speaking at the BETT show for educational technology in London, he also announced plans for a shake-up of the way technology is taught.

Mr Gove called the current ICT (information and communication technology) curriculum "demotivating and dull".

From September it will be replaced by a flexible curriculum in computer science and programming.

He said this would create young people "able to work at the forefront of technological change".

The Education Secretary warned that education had "barely changed" while technological advances had altered the world.

"The fundamental model of school education is still a teacher talking to a group of pupils," he said. "A Victorian schoolteacher could enter a 21st-century classroom and feel completely at home... but that model won't be the same in 20 years time. It may well be extinct in 10."

Mr Gove came in for criticism for his decision to implement the changes rather than waiting for his review of the national curriculum – due at the end of the year.

Valerie Thompson, chief executive of the e-Learning Foundation, added: "The announcement must not serve as a smokescreen to hide the fact that cuts to capital budgets have had a serious impact on the money available to schools to spend on technology."