D&T Association’s open letter on curriculum challenge

Posted on 15 Mar 2013 by Tim Brown

The Design and Technology Association has released an open letter calling on manufacturers and engineers to respond to the consultation on reform of the National Curriculum in England.

According to the D&T Association:

The Government’s proposed draft Design and Technology programme of study would be a huge backward step for a subject that develops vital skills that young people need for the future.

In our recent online poll, over 90% of the 924 people who responded so far believe that these proposals do not represent high quality D&T or a positive change to the curriculum requirements.

It has also been widely critisised by many prominent figures including Sir James Dyson, Dick Powell – co-founder and design director at Seymourpowell, Sir John Parker – President Royal Academy of Engineering, John Mathers – Chief Executive Design Council and Dick Olver – Chair E4E.

But it is not a foregone conclusion, there is still time to change it.

This is a personal appeal for you to respond to the Consultation on reform of the National Curriculum in England if you have not already done so. The highlighted section below tells you what to do. But I also need you to urge all your colleagues and contacts to make individual responses as well.

Government consultations are, unfortunately, partly a numbers game – it is essential that as a subject community we make it very, very clear that the proposed programmes of study are simply not appropriate or acceptable. Ministers receive weekly updates on the numbers of responses to the consultation about each subject. We want them to know that there are serious concerns about the D&T proposals and that education, parents, business, industry and others are all united in their opposition to it.

We must not be complacent about this – an email to the Consultation email address, and copied to the minister, is all it needs. 10 minutes of your time now can help prevent this travesty from becoming law!

We urgently need your help to convince the Government that they need to replace this with a challenging, world class curriculum – by responding to the consultation by the deadline of 16 April 2013.

Thank you for your support.

Our concerns:

  • This regressive programme of study puts basic domestic and maintenance skills ahead of modern, high quality teaching and learning in design, electronics, engineering, food science and textiles.
  • It will not challenge, inspire or equip talented young people to pursue careers in design, manufacturing, engineering, fashion or many other thriving sectors that Design and Technology learning has previously prepared students for.
  • It will reinforce existing prejudices about creative and applied subjects like Design and Technology as lacking challenge and being second best.
  • It will also undermine the route into higher and vocational education for talented students by failing to provide the skills they need.


How you can help:

1. Respond to the consultation by the deadline of 16 April 2013

The Association will be responding to the consultation in the strongest terms and will be encouraging its members, partner organisations and supporters to do the same. Questions 3, 4, 8 and 14 are of particular importance.

Either complete a consultation form http://bit.ly/DandTconsultationform  or simply send a letter with your concerns to: [email protected]

and send a copy to: [email protected]