Posted on September 28, 2016 by staff

‘Ofsted management focus’ is ruining kids’ tech education


The CEO of a major tech hub has slammed the “market economy” in schools which detracts from tech education.

Jon Corner, who runs The Landing in Salford Quays, said more direct focus needs to be placed on digital literacy.

“It always comes back to tech literacy, which is not mandated in schools,” he told a BusinessCloud roundtable on education.

“We have a market economy in our schools which works on an ‘outstanding’ ticket from Ofsted.

“If you’re a principal running a school, you’re after that status – and can get it without touching tech at all. The digital world our kids are growing up in is not part of that Ofsted management focus.”

The roundtable heard that initiatives in the North West such as Hive Manchester and Code Club are plugging the skills gap in our youngsters.

“That is why we’ve got so much extracurricular stuff happening,” continued Corner.

“If there was a tech literacy mandate, suddenly every headteacher would be going ‘how do we tackle this tech thing then, we need to do this’.

“Some of the East European countries, and Australia, embed tech into the curriculum.”

Corner started out in music tech before moving to London for 12 years, where he says he fell in love with digital technology.

After returning to the north he became part of the project team that helped shape the original concept of MediaCityUK, including the bid to attract the BBC, and was later the University of Salford’s director of MediaCityUK.

He was then appointed CEO of The Landing at MediaCity, which he describes as a “bit of a playground for me”.

The Landing recently expanded its management team as it looks to drive its next phase of growth.

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