It is now known that good use of ICT in lessons improves pupils’
work, helping them achieve higher results than would otherwise have
Official figures show that pupils using ICT did significantly
better in English at Key Stage 2, in Science at Key Stages 3 and 4,
and in Design and Technology at Key Stage 4.
Overall, schools that are well-resourced with ICT do better however
deprived the populations they serve are. In secondary schools this
results in more pupils with five or more level C passes in English,
Maths and Science at Key Stage 3.
Interestingly, the improved results only seem to come if pupils use
ICT across a range of subjects – if its use is confined to one
subject, no improvement is seen.
Why this should be is still a matter for debate. In surveys,
teachers say that ICT improves the production and presentation of
schoolwork, boosting pupils’ self-esteem and motivation in the
Some teachers also think computers can have a “calming effect” on
Most young people surveyed believe that computers make schoolwork
more fun and lead to better behaviour in class.
ICT appears to have the most beneficial impact on boys, without
disadvantaging girls. This may be because it helps boys to engage
longer with learning tasks than they normally would.
It may also be affecting classroom culture, as some teachers note
that pupils are more likely to informally tutor one another how to
use an aspect of ICT.
As a result of these findings, web skills are rising in importance
on the curriculum. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority is
currently holding trials of ICT skills tests for 13- to
14-year-olds, in which they are asked to search a virtual web for
The big pICTure: The Impact of ICT on Attainment, Motivation
and Learning from www.dfes.gov.uk