Are academies required to teach ICT?

I don’t want to get too political, and maybe I’m just being far too sensitive, but after the last couple of weeks of statements about education from the government I feel I have to comment. The final straw for me was being directed towards an online FAQ published on the government education website. It asks the question “Are academies required to teach ICT?” and answers by saying:

Academies that converted from September 2010 are not required to teach the National Curriculum. Through their funding agreements, they are required to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. Prior to September 2010 some academies were required, through their funding agreements, to follow the National Curriculum and to teach ICT, these academies are still required to teach ICT. However, we will be offering them the opportunity to move to the new model funding agreement.

We know that academies take seriously their responsibility to prepare their pupils for further study and the world of work. We are confident, therefore, that academies understand the benefits of, and are delivering, a high quality broad and balanced education which covers a wide range of subjects including ICT.

It is the second paragraph that really gets my goat as to me it implies that schools that are not academies don’t take these responsibilities seriously and don’t understand and can’t be trusted to deliver a high quality broad and balanced education.

Some schools have switched to becoming academies overnight without a change of staff, resources, pupils or management. What is so magic about becoming an academy that gains such trust from the government? Can we trust this government to take their responsibilities to care for their electorate seriously? Where is the high quality broad and balanced government of our country. Do we need to have a debate on the nature of government as well as the nature of education? What are they both for?

If the education process is failing maybe it should be judged by the government that it’s pupils elect.

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