Mr Gove said he had been thinking about the role of ICT in schools. The ICT curriculum has been written for a subject that is changing rapidly and he felt things were moving more towards "computer science". There was a need to talk to scientists, experts in coding and young people – "not old fogeys like me" – to ensure that what happens in school is kept relevant. He had earlier said more about his new-found enthusiasm for ICT in his address to the conference, expressing further recognition of the importance of ICT for learning, something that had been absent – until recent months – since the Coalition Government came to power in May 2010.
The interview with Michael Gove is available on Catmose College's own radio station of the Radiowaves website, as is the interview with Lord Puttnam, ironically one of the key influencers who ensured that recognition of ICT was introduced to Mr Gove's Education Bill from which it had formerly been absent. The interviews are also available on the Schools Network Conference's Radiowaves station.
The full list of student questions included:
- Why should young people who are talented in arts be excluded from being awarded the English baccalaureate if they are not academically minded?
- It was announced that 12 selective specialist maths schools will be built. Why is maths so important and what plans are there in place for specialist schools for other subjects?
- How do you think that education for young people like us has improved since the coalition government has been in power?
- How would you view a successful academy like Catmose College extending its age range in order that students can stay and not have to travel long distances to access high quality post-16 education?
- What are your view on ICT and why isn't it compulsory in the national curriculum?
Michael Gove's Damascene take-up of ICT for learning was also a pleasant revelation for people at the award-winning Radiowaves service which has been providing students with safe, real-world learning projects and broadcasting for a number of years. "We're pleased to hear Mr Gove is looking again at the role of ICT in schools," said Radiowaves CEO Mark Riches.
"There are so may ways ICT can provide an impetus for young people to engage with their world in real and exciting ways. Connecting young people in a safe way and with the latest technology is something we're passionate about at Radiowaves. It's what young people expect; anything less and they'll just switch off.