Pupils' progress in IT worsened last year despite a multi-million pound programme of government investment which aims to give every school Internet access by 2002.
A report by inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education says that in 1997-98, pupils' progress in IT was poor in 38 per cent of schools. The previous year the figure was 32 per cent.
Senior government sources blamed the previous government for neglecting IT: "What we inherited from the Tories was a disgrace."
However, ministers believe that the millions being spent on equipment and teacher training will pay off.
Currently, 53 per cent of secondary schools are not fulfilling the national curriculum requirement in IT.
The great majority of IT teachers have no formal qualification in the subject or relevant commercial experience. "The dearth of training for serving teachers in subject content and teaching technique remains a major cause for concern," the report said.Reuse content