Draft ICT programme of Study

BCS and the Royal Academy of Engineering have coordinated the development of a draft ICT Programme of Study on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE). This draft is not in any way endorsed by DfE, and represents the expert advice of a working party that coordinated input from a range of stakeholders. Further details of the process and who was involved can be found below.

In addition to the draft Programme of Study the working party also created a set of guidance notes that help to explain some of the words and phrases used in the draft.

Download the draft Programme of Study

Download the guidance notes

Notes on context and process

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, and Royal Academy of Engineering, Nov 2012

Download a PDF of the context and process notes


In his speech to BETT on 11 January 2012, the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove addressed criticisms about how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is taught in England from schools, teachers, and industry leaders.  He did so by starting a consultation on withdrawing the existing National Curriculum Programme of Study for ICT from 1 September 2012, to allow the development of innovative, exciting and rigorous new ICT courses, in advance of the launch of the new National Curriculum in 2014. Following consultation, the government confirmed on 11 June 2012 that its intention to proceed, and that ICT would be a compulsory subject up to Key Stage 4 with its own Programme of Study.

In late August 2012 the DfE invited BCS and the Royal Academy of Engineering to coordinate the drafting of a new Programme of Study for ICT. The following process ensued:

The draft is now under revision by DfE, and will be published in the Spring of 2013 as part of a full public consultation for the whole National Curriculum.  The current draft is simply the result of the working group efforts, and is not endorsed by DfE.

The two working parties included several school teachers, together with representation from Naace, CAS, ITTE, Vital and NextGen Skills.  The membership of the two working groups appears below.

Guidance from DfE

DfE guidance makes clear that the new Programme of Study for ICT:


The draft Programme of Study adopts the terminology of the Royal Society report "Shut down or restart" while broadening the definitions somewhat.

Regardless of the exact terminology, the purpose of identifying the elements of digital literacy, computer science, and information technology is to ensure that each is given clear attention.  We believe that all three should be taught right from the start, much like the sciences at primary school.

Supporting materials and training

A two page Programme of Study is a very small part of the puzzle: it alone absolutely will not guarantee the provision of excellent education in ICT.

Membership of the working party

The working party that wrote the first draft consisted of:

The working party that developed the second draft consisted of:

Computing at School is supported and endorsed by: