Schools won't allow kids to programme with languages that can, potentially, harm systems and networks.
In that respect, it may be worth teaching kids VB for Office (although it's still possible to write to the HDD and open sockets iirc), since most kids are almost guaranteed to be exposed to office at some point in their career, especially if they choose a desk job it might prove useful to those who don't really want to programme for a living.
Which is one more reason why the Raspberry Pi boards are such a good idea. And if not that one in particular, something similar.
Hardware self contained.. Check.
IT support.. Not needed.
Network access.. Zero.
Access to the same environment at home..Check. Take it out of your bag and plug it into the TV. Done.
Problem solved. And it's cheap. It runs free software, so no big expensive per seat licensing. And is essentially a breakable cheap programming platform. Under Â£20 to replace is hardly the end of the world if little Johnny loses it.
Python, C Java, XML HTML, In other words.. Pretty much anything that will run on Linux. IDE or text editor..Your choice. All free.
And how exactly is MS Office a contained safe environment? Didn't Office have a whole lot of macro viruses a few years ago?
Add the recent move to stop teaching office,and start teaching computer literacy by UK schools, and the pieces are falling into place quite nicely.
This is going to happen. Despite the imaginary problems and over inflated issues.
It doesn't require a 100% success rate, any more than English is expected to turn out 100% authors and poets. .
It doesn't need to turn out industry ready programmers, any more than a biology A level is going to be any use to someone applying to join a medical practice.
And as no exam is sat at the end, the teacher can concentrate on teaching instead of passing exams.