The D&T Association on BBC News

Published 25th August 2016

With the published GCSE results very much in the news, on Thursday 25th August, the BBC News channel broadcast a short interview with Lesley Morris, Chair of the D&T Association Board of Trustees. Picking up on the reported drop in the number of students taking D&T, they were interested in the potential effect this could have on engineering and industry.  Lesley pointed out that the decline was a real concern for business and industry.  She explained the benefits that studying D&T brings. She also spoke about STEM and how D&T provides opportunities for the real life application of maths and science through designing and making real things. Studying D&T helps students develop the practical as well as the creative skills needed by industry.

During the interview, she referred to recent research completed by Dr Paul McCombie, Deputy Head of the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath.  This had looked at performance of civil engineering undergraduates, correlating A-level subjects to engineering degree result. The research demonstrates the distinct advantage in performance that studying D&T A level brings - particularly for girls.

The D&T Association believes strongly, that Government must address this worrying decline and take positive steps to reduce it as a matter of urgency. The figures published this year show a 36% reduction in the number of students entering D&T since 2010 - more than in any other creative or technical subject. For several years and through its campaigns, Believe in D&T (2011) and Designed and made in Britain…? (2015-16), we have warned Government repeatedly of what is being lost as a direct consequence of the Department of Education’s reforms. The publication of this summer’s A level results and GCSE results, are a real cause for concern, demonstrating a continuing downward trend. The introduction of the EBacc is set to reduce the decline still further and in some schools, threatens D&T’s very existence as an examination subject option choice.

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