HC Deb 01 March 1978 vol 945 cc245-6W
Mr. Buchanan-Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will investigate why computer studies are not included as a subject for certificate of education in schools in Scotland, whereas they are included for similar certificates in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if, in view of the job opportunities in the computer and associated industries, he is satisfied with the present level of facilities for teaching computer studies in schools; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. McElhone

The advice given in 1972 by the Consultative Committee on the Curriculum was that computer studies should not be developed as a subject in its own right but should be incorporated into the teaching of other subjects. The Scottish Certificate of Education Examination Board has accordingly not provided a separate examination in this subject. Computing does, however, form parts of the examination syllabuses in mathematics and accounting.

Responsibility for the provision of facilities for the teaching of school subjects rests with education authorities. These facilities include the provision of mini-computers which can be taken from school to school to give pupils practical experience of using computers. Provision varies from region to region, but it is generally satisfactory.