Dr Pat Hughes, Education Engagement & Strategy, BT Research & Technology

Posted on 2 May 2013 by The Manufacturer

Late last month a new programme of study for design and technology in England’s schools was submitted to government by the Design and Technology Association and Education for Engineering.

This document is the result of painstaking debate among around 50 educationalists, teachers and industry representatives at the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) on April 20 – a debate which was provoked by the release of the Government’s own draft programme of study for design and technology in February.

Left to its own devices, Government would have implemented a programme to make design and technology a vehicle for the promotion of domestic craft skills and being handy round the home. Its proposals bore no relevance to the knowledge and skills needed for 21st century industry and their style stood in stark contrast to the new computing curriculum which was developed by industry and education experts, including myself, in order to prepare young people to live and work in our technologically advanced society.

I urge all readers and the wider engineering community to get behind the new design and technology programme. Industry must understand and express the importance of this subject to the development of the applied STEM skills which underpin engineering and manufacturing.