Review your Department: The D&T Association Self Review Framework

How are you meeting the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum?

Review your Department: The D&T Association Self Review Framework

Register for the Self Review Framework (SRF)

All schools are required to complete an annual self review. This generally requires secondary Subject Leaders to provide information to their Senior Management Team.

We understand that the review process can be demanding and time consuming and difficult to undertake.  We have produced a product to simplify this process.

Our new Self-Review Framework and associated Design & Technology Mark have been designed to address this need.

Take a look at this short Self-Review Framework video which will show you how simple and easy it is to use.

The SRF can be accessed free of charge if you are Department member.  If you are an individual member, you may wish to consider converting  your membership and becoming a secondary departmental member in order to gain free access.

The framework will enable you to:

  • enables a department to effectively address Ofsted’s focus on self-evaluation: Ofsted’s criteria for ‘Outstanding’ Leadership and Management’ “Leaders focus relentlessly on improving teaching and learning….” (p49, School Inspection Handbook, Ofsted, 2015)
  • enables a D&T department to identify and address their strengths and areas for further development
  • is a new online, self-review and evaluation tool providing the department with the explicit detail required to accurately reflect the unique nature of D&T, not gained from more generic systems.
  • can also be used to efficiently house and manage evidence for performance management purposes
  • helps a department move the subject forward, addressing the National Curriculum programmes of study for D&T and develop schemes of work that are ‘learning driven’ and made up of a range of appropriate D&T activities
  • enables departments to evidence the contribution of D&T, to a broad and balanced curriculum and clearly demonstrate the value of D&T within the school.
  • effectively signposts to the D&T Association’s new KS3 Key Resources and other relevant third party resources

The framework requires schools to evaluate their provision in three distinct domains:

  • Principles for  learning in D&T
  • Curriculum for learning in D&T
  • Environment for learning in D&T

Those undertaking the review are guided by a series of questions in each domain which will usually demand teachers responsible for teaching D&T to engage in professional discussion with colleagues and identify suitable sources of evidence to support their response.

We are pleased to offer the Self Review Framework free to our Departmental members.

Design and Technology Mark

The Association originally developed the Design Mark to provide schools with a quality standard against which they could evaluate their practice in design education. This has now been developed into the ‘D&T Mark’ - an aspirational quality mark for both primary and secondary schools that recognises their excellence in design and technology education.  It has been developed so that having undertaken the self review process, schools are able to apply for the quality mark to recognise their achievement. The process involves registering for the award, assembling the evidence they have identified and uploading it to a specially created online portfolio.  Evidence can include photographs, video and written documents. They then engage with an external moderator allocated by the D&T Association. The professional discussion coupled with support and advice ensures that an accessible and updatable portfolio of evidence can be acknowledged with the D&T Mark award. Thereafter, it can be used to illustrate the quality of the department and provide useful evidence to show for example to Ofsted during a school inspection.  It can also be used to support requests for funding or further support.

Linked Resources

A ‘bank’ of resources and activities covering all aspects of KS3 D&T: Food, Product Design, Systems & Control and Textiles. The initial ‘bank’, to be launched this summer, will consist of 44 resources for early, mid and late KS3 and are planned as units of differing lengths, from 1 to 12 hours, covering activities which are:

  • mainly designing
  • mainly making
  • designing and making
  • technology in society

The resources will be made available as individual units, as sets covering each focus area or year group, and as a whole ’bank’. A Teachers’ Guide will also be available.

This initial set of resources will be supplemented in the future with alternative activities and those to cover other aspects of D&T, including robotics and CAD/CAM.

Departmental Membership

The Self Review Framework will be available free to Department members. Ensure that your school can take advantage of this valuable membership benefit by converting individual memberships into departmental memberships.

We have found that schools will often pay for Departmental membership out of school budgets – it is a very cost-effective form of CPD! It enables all department members to purchase resources and attend events, branch meetings and CPD provided by the Association at advantageous, discounted member rates.

For help converting your membership please contact us on 01789 470007 quoting ME4 to Claim £10 Off Membership. Ask for membership or email:

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Design and Technology (D&T) is the inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all young people to live and work in the designed and made world.

We are focused on giving you the tools, knowledge and information you need to become more effective, more experienced and more efficient. Giving you access to expert opinions. And creating a place where you can air your views, ask your questions and so help make a difference to your life and those of your pupils. We want to hear from you. We want to know how we can help. And we want you to join us.

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