Announcing the new D&T Association Chief Executive, Tony Ryan

Published 4th January 2018

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Tony Ryan as the D&T Association’s new Chief Executive, who takes up the post in January 2018. In addition to substantial experience working as a design and technology teacher and subject leader, Tony has also been a successful head teacher for 11 years, at two large secondary academies: The Leigh Technology Academy, Dartford, Kent and Chiswick School, West London. Consequently, he has a thorough understanding of the range of challenges currently facing the subject.

Tony is passionate about the role that design & technology education plays in delivering a broad and balanced curriculum for all, from early years through primary and secondary phases of compulsory education.  His early career experience as a technician in the Motor Industry, also makes him well placed to lead the D&T Association in its work, building links with industry, further education and apprenticeships.

“The issues facing D&T are clear,” says Tony. “D&T is currently struggling to attract sufficient graduate teacher trainees nationally. As a non-EBacc subject and with austerity still impacting on school budgets, our curriculum area is being cut back, marginalised and in extreme cases even eradicated from the curriculum in some schools.

These real challenges represent a ‘perfect storm’ for the subject. I am however an optimist, and I firmly believe that the tide will slowly turn. With the challenges presented in a post Brexit world, we will be dependent on future generations of designers, engineers and creatives to drive the economy forward”.

Over the course of the next few months, under Tony’s leadership, the D&T Association will be working to build on the organisation’s successes and continuing to develop new links with a wide range of stakeholders, including educationalists, employers, policy-makers and funders. His experience will be invaluable in maintaining existing provision, but also developing new initiatives, designed specifically to support those involved in primary and secondary school, FE and HE design and technology and engineering education.

 Tony Ryan Biography

Tony Ryan has been working in education for 32 years, spending 18 in senior management and 11 as headteacher in two very diverse secondary Academies. Tony has worked with a range of organisations both as a trust member and at board level and recently led a group of headteachers to bring a secondary free school bid from inception through approval, to planning for a £18 Million new build secondary school, due to open its doors to students in 2018.

Tony entered teaching almost by accident, rediscovering a love of learning as a motor vehicle engineer. He completed his initial teacher training in London, qualifying as a teacher of design and technology. He later completed an MA in Educational Studies, majoring in the use of information technology which he went on to teach and lead across a number of schools.

Tony is an active Fellow of The Royal Society of the Arts.


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