Call for action over ‘huge backward step’ in design teaching

Critics of the Government’s proposals for design teaching in schools are urging people to take action over the plans, which they describe as ‘a huge backward step’.

Education Secretary Michael Gove

Source: Regional Cabinet

Education Secretary Michael Gove

Concerns have been raised over design’s place on the new National Curriculum, which was unveiled last month.

The proposed curriculum’s broad definition of Design & Technology had been particularly criticised. This will see pupils taught cooking and horticultural skills as part of the D&T programme.

Attacking the proposals last month, Sir James Dyson said, ‘The new curriculum will not inspirer the invention and engineers Britain so desperately needs.

‘Life skills such as how to grill a tomato and what to do if your bike chain falls off take pride of place. Gardening has become a key component in a subject that should contextualise science and maths in a practical format.’

The D&T Association has issued a call to action over the proposals, urging people to respond to the Government’s consultation on the proposals, which finishes on 16 April. You can respond to the consultation here.

It is also calling for people to contact their local MP and Elizabeth Truss, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education, to protest at the proposals.

The D&T Association says a recent online poll it conducted shows that more than 90 per cent of respondents believe the curriculum proposals do not represent high-quality D&T or a positive change to the curriculum requirement.

It says the proposals will not ‘challenge, inspire or equip’ young people to pursue careers in design and technology, and will ‘reinforce existing prejudices about creative and applied subjects… as lacking challenge and being second best.’

Hide Comments (2)Show Comments (2)
  • James Marshall November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    As a group of individuals that have passed through the British schooling system, and in particular that of the D&T education process, we are bemused at the arrogance and inconsideration of our Great British Government and the inclusion of elements such as gardening and cooking in the programme.

    Design and Technology is about creativity and Engineering, its about the communication and expression of an idea and bringing that idea to life, not the ability to make toast or sow seeds!

    Why does our Government have an amazing ability to always downgrade society to the lowest common denominator? Thus creating a limp wristed, untalented future upon which our Children will be unable to prosper on a Global marketplace…

  • Fran Villani November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I wholeheartedly agree that these practical skills are necessary to the future of the country in terms of creativity and engineering and should be part of the curriculum as much as English or Maths.

    However, belittling food technology is almost as ridiculous as watering down creative education. The government want people to take more responsibility for their health and reduce the strain on the NHS. “Cooking” is also about nutrition and healthy lifestyles and needs to be taught just as much as other D&T subjects as not all children and young adults have exposure to this at home. The comments about the subject being about grilling a tomato or making toast are immature and short-sighted.

  • Post a comment

Latest articles