Fri Feb 03 16:00:00 UTC 2012

We've been redeveloping our BTEC Firsts in I&CT. Subject to Ofqual accreditation, they should be ready for first teaching in September 2012.

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Over the last year, we have listened to and considered the recommendations of:

  • the Next Gen report by Ian Livingston and Alex Hope (February 2011), which outlines the convergence of IT with some creative subjects like art and design
  • schools, colleges, Higher Education and employers
  • The Computing at School Working Group (CAS)
  • "Shut down or restart: The way forward for computing in UK schools" by The Royal Society (January 2012).

Recently, Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, announced at BETT a change in the landscape for ICT teaching in schools in England. Gove stated:

“In short, just at the time when technology is bursting with potential, teachers, professionals, employers, universities, parents and pupils are all telling us the same thing. ICT in schools is a mess.”

Gove’s vision is for a revolutionised ICT teaching landscape – and his speech is timely, as the redevelopment of the BTEC in I&CT does just that: revolutionise. The aim of the suite is to inspire and enthuse learners with the skills, knowledge and understanding to become tech savvy: better equipped to be producers of technology products and systems, and not just consumers of it. The qualification provides an introduction and foundation which learners can use to progress in education or into a career in the information technology sector or some parts of the creative industries (such as computer game development).

For example, centres and students can choose from a range of units such as:

  • Creating Digital Animation: Learners will design, create and test their own animated product.
  • Mobile Apps Development: Learners will investigate the characteristics of mobile apps, and develop their own app.
  • Website Development: Learners will design, develop and test a website for a brief, in a similar way to industry.

In addition, centres have a choice of two core externally assessed units in the Award: The Online World, or Technology Systems. This gives them the flexibility to tailor the course to suit their learners’ interests and aspirations.

BTEC Firsts from September 2012

Following the government’s reforms, which take effect in 2014, our new qualifications will be recognised alongside other high-quality vocational qualifications in the five A*-C school league table measures (subject to accreditation by Ofqual). The qualifications in the suite are:

  • BTEC Level 2 First in I&CT Award – 120 GLH+ (submitted for accreditation)
  • BTEC Level 2 First in I&CT Certificate – 240 GLH+ (in development)
  • BTEC Level 2 First in I&CT Extended Certificate – 360 GLH+ (in development).

These new qualifications should be ready for first teaching in September 2012 (subject to accreditation by Ofqual).  

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