What Are The Issues?

There is a shortage of qualified teachers; government accountability measures prioritise other subjects; teachers cannot access CPD; and GCSE numbers are declining.

What Are The Issues?

Critical shortage of qualified D&T teachers

  • Uncertainty about D&T teaching career prospects and status caused by successive curriculum changes.
  • Recruitment into D&T Initial Teacher Training (ITT) 50% below target for the last 2 years.
  • At least 1,200 fewer secondary D&T teachers in the system than needed from September 2015 – 1 in 3 schools will be a teacher short.
  • Many primary trainee teachers receive less than 6 hours training for D&T.

Need for a modern D&T curriculum and workforce

  • Insufficient use of 21st century digital technologies in some secondary schools reduces curriculum relevance for pupils and employers.
  • Difficulties for secondary teachers to access Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to keep up-to-date with rapid changes in design and manufacturing processes and material technologies.
  • Lack of primary D&T subject expertise, particularly in more technical aspects.
  • Most primary teachers have received little or no D&T CPD in recent years.
  • Often inadequate funding for resources, equipment and consumable materials in many schools.

Effect of school accountability measures and league tables

  • Current Government policy acts against a broad and balanced curriculum to meet all pupils’ needs, interests and aptitudes.
  • Pupils in Academies or Free schools have no entitlement to D&T education – currently this includes 61% of secondary schools and 15% of primary schools.
  • Primary schools judged on pupils’ performance in English and mathematics, which take over 50% of teaching time – compared with 5% or less for D&T.
  • Secondary schools are judged on pupils’ GCSE grades in English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects (English, mathematics, history or geography, science and a language) – reduced incentive for subjects like D&T.
  • No secondary school can be considered ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted from September 2015 unless all pupils do well in EBacc subjects – a further disincentive for subjects like D&T.
  • D&T increasingly marginalised, and in some schools being cut, with additional impacts on related areas of learning including: computing; coding; cooking and nutrition; health and wellbeing education.

What effects has the accountability measures outlined above had in your school? Please leave your comment on this Facebook thread.

Serious decline in GCSE numbers

  • The loss of statutory status and current accountability measures have caused a 50% fall in D&T GCSE entries from 2003 to 2014 (D&T was a compulsory GCSE until 2004).
  • Craft-related GCSE entries fell 25% from 2007 to 2013.

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