ICT is always going to sit uncomfortably in such a context because its status as an academic subject has never been entirely secure. Many, including myself, would argue that ICT has academic legitimacy because it is underpinned by distinct theories and processes. Others, coming from more traditional subject backgrounds would see it (to quote the Review) as one of the 'very worthwhile areas of learning [which] apply knowledge in particular ways or foreground particular areas of skill or competence – but have weaker epistemological roots'. ICT draws on knowledge and understandings from a range of disciplines to make a discrete whole. As a subject it is not alone in doing that - geography, for example, has a relatively small core of unique content; the rest is drawn from the sciences, history, mathematics.
The unique core of ICT (in primary, at any rate) is small, but contains content that is essential for the functioning individual in the 21st Century - child or adult - namely digital or media literacy, understandings about controlling devices, the provisionality of information, independent choice of digital tools. If this essential stuff is no longer defined in an agreed programme of study, but left to individual schools to determine, then we have a recipe, not for disaster, but for ever increasing inequalities of opportunity.
Apparently, 77% of respondents to the National Curriculum Review's call for evidence felt ICT should remain a statutory subject (with similar support for other 'demoted' subjects). The Expert Panel remained 'not entirely persuaded'. Discuss.