In the Press

Published 17th June 2024

Our CEO, Tony Ryan, recently penned an article in the Observer that highlights a critical issue facing our education system: the potential disappearance of design and technology from the national curriculum within the next four years. This alarming trend is driven by a steep decline in both student and teacher numbers, with about 20% of schools in England and Wales no longer offering the subject.

The forthcoming report, produced in collaboration with the Design Council reveals a 68% drop in students taking D&T at the GCSE level over the past decade. Furthermore, the number of secondary teachers trained to teach D&T has plummeted from over 15,000 in 2009 to just 6,300 today, with projections indicating it could fall below 4,500 soon.

The Design Council reports that the design sector contributes over £100bn annually to the UK’s GDP but we are currently seeing a significant talent shortfall in the engineering and design sectors and this would mean dire consequences if this trend continues, particularly in meeting net zero goals.

We advocate for a curriculum that mirrors real-world industry practices and have already taken steps to produce a suite of free teaching resources to close this gap, giving students practical experience in problem-solving and innovation. Despite some positive steps, such as increasing financial incentives for prospective D&T teachers, the removal of the bursary for the 2022/2023 academic year led to a significant dip in recruitment, exacerbating the current crisis.

To understand the full scope of this issue and the urgent need for action, we encourage you to read the article in the Observer. This is a matter of national importance that impacts not just our education system but the future of our creative and engineering industries as well.

Read the full article in the Observer

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