My experience of IT teaching in schools is it's a position that's either held by the oldest non-STEM teaching member and functions as a bad introduction to word processing (typing classes -> computer classes) or it's run by an enthusiastic young 'un (and thus highly variable). Almost always there where *much* better "computer as a tool" subjects where the computers where incidental to the work, but alos provided much more useful skills. Art classes using Adobe products, GIS stuff in geography, video editing in drama etc.
Programming also hasn't suffered too much (yet) from pointless fuckery from on high, which is often the issue for many of the hated subjects at school. I've a fairly high level of math knowledge/ability, and so have tutored many a struggling student, and I've yet to find anyone who didn't *get* it if you bother to explain it in terms the can relate to. Trig can seem horribly complicated, but relate it to physical objects and it's fairly simple to understand. Algebra is calculating constant unknowns, again physical visualisations often work. Applied statistics to games makes it more appreciable. The biggest hurdle is often that the student does understand, but thinks "it can't be this simple" and then puts an extra hurdle in their way.
As for times tables.... didn't that go out with the dinosaurs? It still seems a bit preferential to the "enforced" teaching of new math, despite the fact that "new math" is closer to how I do mental arithmetic, it seems to focus on the steps rather than the principle. The main points of times tables (to me at least) was to identify possible factors quickly. Even numbers divide by 2; if the sum of the digits of a number is a multiple of 3, the it divides by 3; multiples of 5 end in 0 or 5, multiples of 10 end in 0. Breaking steps into easier to compute chunks.
Teaching using an abacus is also quite neat if you want fast mental computations instead of using paper, although even when I'm visualising it my fingers still twitch when doing the calculations. Even though I've never used it in anger, using a slide rule is also great for younger minds.
I'm also often surprised by which things I was taught in school that have been the most useful to me in my adult life. Knowing how to (safely) use a sewing machine, axe, bandsaw, circular saw, soldering iron, drill press, lathe and potters wheel have all served me well, while being taught how to make a piece of wood square using only hand tools and how to write a balanced budget are things that I've spent waaaaay more time post school than many of my academic subjects.
For whatever reason politicians (and Jo Public) seem to think they not only know more about education than educators, but they get to fuck around with it. As compared to almost any other area, where at least some bowing to reality is done.