Richard Green, chief executive of the D&T Association, warns that the drop in the number of pupils taking design subjects could lead to design teaching being wiped out from many schools the UK.
He says, ‘Twenty-five years ago Britain became the first country in the world to enshrine Design And Technology in the National Curriculum.
‘Today, as booming economies in the Far East look to copy the model Britain pioneered, we face the very real prospect that Design and Technology could disappear entirely from many schools within the next five years.’
The Design & Technology Association says that this year there has been a 3 per cent fall in the number of students taking D&T at GCSE – more than 6000 fewer than last year.
The DTA says this drop is likely to be a reaction to the rise in single sciences and the promotion of languages and humanities as part of the Ebacc school ranking system.
Green says the drop ‘paints a dire picture for the subject, but the reality is likely to get far, far worse.’
Green adds, ‘The English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which schools are now judged on, marginalises creative and practical subjects in favour of a very narrow set of academic measures.
‘UK creative industries contribute over £71 billion to the UK economy, but the constraints EBacc places on schools is squeezing the life out of the very subjects upon which Britain’s future as a global creative powerhouse is built.’
The reduction in the number of GCSE D&T candidates follows a drop in the number of students taking D&T A-Levels.
The D&T Association says that just over 13,500 students took specialist D&T A-Level this year, a fall of more than 25 per cent from 2006.