Studying Design and Technology includes the use of a broad range of knowledge, skills, and understanding, and prompts engagement in a wide variety of activities. Pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts.


Different countries have their own specific national curricula. Yet all seek to develop children and young people’s practical designing and making ability, and their creativity in solving real and relevant problems.

Studying Design and Technology includes the use of a broad range of knowledge, skills, and understanding, and prompts engagement in a wide variety of activities. Pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. Through evaluation of past and present Design and Technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.

The English National Curriculum for Design and Technology sets out the minimum requirement for the subject. Most schools use this as a starting point and develop their own school curriculum to specifically meet the needs of their own pupils.

Schools are encouraged to develop their own individual ethos and vision for the subject. To see it as a dynamic, ongoing process involving pupils, teachers, parents, employers and representatives of industry. In this way, a curriculum can be developed that reflects the particular locality, environment, employment opportunities, and any particular focus individual schools may have.

Supporting teachers in implementing the Design and Technology  programmes of study

The Design and Technology Association supports teachers in implementing the D&T programmes of study by providing training, advice, information, and guidance. We have a number of supporting resources and a series of twilight branch training sessions around the country that:

Following feedback from members about areas needing explanation, we have developed fresh resources and training materials to help implement the programme of study.

Primary school and secondary departmental membership

Members may choose to gain support for their teachers by converting individual memberships to secondary departmental or primary school membership or indeed joining your school as a new primary or departmental member giving your access to all member benefits, discounted rates on events and teaching resources. As a member you will receive our member magazines and email and video newsletters. Importantly as a member you will gain preferential and more in-depth support and advice from our expert team should you need it.

Inspired by Industry

In a bid to rejuvenate the field of design and technology education and provide creative learning opportunities for students, the Design & Technology Association are collaborating with businesses such as Mamas & Papas, Thrive Wearables, Yoto, Scalextric, Salsus, PTC, Elvie, Scalextric, and Mindful Chef to launch its recent initiative: ‘Inspired by Industry.

This new resource offers a comprehensive set of free learning materials specifically designed for KS3 D&T educators and students, aiming to breathe new life into the subject. The materials show how businesses use ‘design thinking’ to ideate new products, which, in turn, can allow students to respond to a real brief taken from within industries and real workplaces.  Find out more about Inspired by Industry

Design and Technology KS3 Key Resources

An extensive bank of Design and Technology Key Resources has been developed to help teachers who are looking to move their schemes of work from craft-based focused projects, towards planning units that focus on students’ learning in Design and Technology.

The Teacher Guide and associated tools are available for free download. The resource comprises a Key Stage 3 plan for Design and Technology learning, planning and auditing tools, and guidance on using the Progression Framework and associated Key Resources bank of resources.

The benefits of a national curriculum

Having a national curriculum helps ensure a shared understanding of what the subject is about, and at what stage in the educational process key aspects are introduced. This allows teachers to properly plan for continuity and progression.

A national curriculum also makes it possible to develop strategies, resources, and challenges that link what has gone before - and prepare for what is to follow. As a result, transition between each stage and between schools can be more easily managed.

The development of the English National Curriculum

The new English National Curriculum became mandatory in all state maintained schools from September 2014. However, the majority of schools in England (including academies and free schools) use it as the basis for their own curriculum.

The Design and Technology Association played a significant role in the writing of the new curriculum, having been asked by the Department of Education what a modern and relevant for the 21st century programme of study should contain.

The national curriculum Design and Technology programmes of study were a result of bringing together stakeholders, including educational professionals, and representatives of industry such as Education for Engineering, the Design Council and British Nutrition Foundation.

Further information can be found in the English National Curriculum programme of study for Design and Technology at the bottom of the, in the 'Associated Files' area.

You can read about the National Curriculum for Wales, the curriculum area ‘Technologies’ for Scotland, and the National Curriculum for Science, Technology and Design for Northern Ireland for more information.

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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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