Despite the importance of IT and communications technology in adult life, as a school subject computer studies is lagging behind.
45% fewer girls took the A-level subject in 2007 than in 2004 along with almost a third fewer boys. Additionally teaching in some schools is lagging with Ofsted stating many students take subjects of "doubtful value". However, the schools' minister said the report showed "good progress" was being made.
The Ofsted report reveals more and more pupils are taking key stage four vocational qualifications worth four GCSEs but the board claimed these offer a limited challenge.
Chief inspector of schools Christine Gilbert said: "ICT needs to be given high status, both by the government and in individual schools, in line with its importance to young people's future economic well-being," she said.
and communication technology in 177 maintained schools in England and some additional visits to schools where practice was identified as good.
It tracked schools' performance in the subject between 2004 and 2007 and found steady improvements, particularly towards the end of the evaluation.
But achievement remained "stubbornly low" in some schools.
Schools Minister Jim Knight added that he wants primary pupils to learn ICT skills early so that by secondary school, they could "concentrate on using them in an engaging and exciting way".
The situation has been described as serious as it leads to fewer studiers of ICT in further and higher education. This leads to less qualified and skilled workers as the country attempts to attain its digital Britain status.
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