Safety in numbers, one, two, three

Published 23rd January 2014

Written by: Debbie Woodbridge

We’re really pleased with the fact that since September last year, we have achieved a 26% rise in the number of teachers and other related professionals working in the world of design and technology have joined the D&T Association for a range of reasons.

Firstly, we live in times when there is little access to specialist support and advice from the sources that once existed, it important that what remains is made available through a central portal and that is what the D&T Association can provide. We have approximately 100 consultant members registered with us, possessing specialisms ranging from health and safety training through to managing your Ofsted inspection, with all the range of specialist designing and making expertise in between. We can help you contact the ones most likely to meet your needs and of course in the meantime, when we need to, use them to help answer the questions you send to us.

Secondly, it goes without saying that the next few years, irrespective of the outcome of the forth coming election, will very definitely present all those working in education with new challenges brought about through legislation or changes, for instance in examination requirements. For busy teachers in school, it will continue to be difficult to keep up to speed with what is coming and how best to respond. The regular postings on our website, publications and the monthly D&T Stream delivered by email, all contribute to the flow of essential information into schools.  Its helps you stay ahead or at least on top of developments.

Thirdly, there is something really important about seeing ourselves as part of a community. Others do and it’s very helpful for instance, when talking to DfE officials, that we can talk about the ‘D&T teaching community’, or the wider ‘stakeholder community’. Indeed it was the concept of community that helped the Association win the battle to first of all, retain D&T as part of the English National Curriculum and subsequently produce an appropriate programmes of study. Safety in numbers at times like this is vital. If you work in a school where you feel your subject is being threatened it might be helpful if you were in contact with others like you, or those who can offer advice as to what to do about it.  Similarly, you will want to know and be able to quote the difference between what you are being asked to do with limited resources and others who are more generously provided for. Without a community that is talking, sharing, using its Subject Association to get their message to decision makers, we run the risk of the subject not being allowed to flourish at a time when we believe it to be essential for the nation’s prosperity.

Three more things, this time for you to do:

  1. Tell us what you think and provide us with stories about what is happening in your school. We do use these and often quote them in communications with DfE and others.
  2. Make connections with members in other schools in your area. Go to a branch meeting or if you want, we can tell you where there are other D&T members close to you.
  3. Get at least one other D&T teacher or related professional to join.

Remember, numbers count!

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