The Future of D&T – You had your say
Published 21st July 2022
The EPI report 'Spotlight on D&T education in England' paints a pretty bleak picture of the subject's current status in English schools. As I have stated so many times, it's becoming a bit of a personal mantra; you don't encourage change by grieving where you are now; instead, you look ahead to what you might become.
Following the release of the EPI paper in late March, we held a series of roundtable discussions with school, business, and sector leaders to look at the baseline that the research has provided, but more importantly, to explore what actions need to be taken to set the subject on a pathway to recovery.
Tony Ryan, CEO, has been testing the suggested outcomes emerging from these discussions in conversation with teachers across the country as he toured UK cities. Tony met teachers in Birmingham, London, Brighton, Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle, Cardiff, Bristol and Norwich. This finished with a really busy online session on 19th July.
The main direction emerging from all these conversations can be summed up as seen below:
1. A desire for focused research relevant to the subject's growth and that helps transform practice within schools. The Design and Technology Association to take the lead in identifying suitable areas of research, gathering the required funding, commissioning the research and most importantly, then sharing the findings with teachers, school leaders and the wider supportive community.
2. A need to showcase good and outstanding practice – Despite the pressure on the subject and teachers nationally, there is some amazing work going on out there that often rarely gets seen. We need to showcase this work in public forums demonstrating the relevance and beauty of our subject.
3. Grow our Blueprint1000 education/business programme from its current membership to 150 over the next two years, meaning there will be an active Blueprint industry/business connection within reach of most D&T departments.
4. Revision of our national KS3 curriculum offer from one often focused on outcomes and making to one heavily grounded in process and the pedagogical journey from concept to prototype. In doing so, create the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem solvers, designers, engineers and young people with a broad appreciation and respect for the power of design to change our world for the better.
We are still testing the direction, we will write the outcomes up in full and share them widely by the end of this month.
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