The urgent need to focus on Design and Technology

The design profession is rising up to the pressure felt by schools around the teaching of Design and Technology (DT). The Design and Technology Association have launched a campaign called Designed and Made in Britain…? to raise awareness of the issues surrounding DT and lobby for change.

So what is the problem?

1. There is a critical shortage of qualified DT teachers

2. There is a need for a modern DT curriculum (e.g. using digital technology) and opportunities for CPD at both primary and secondary levels.

3. The school accountability measures disincentivise subjects like DT. From September 2015 no secondary school can be considered ‘outstanding’ unless all pupils do well in EBacc subjects. DT is not an EBacc subject.

4. There is a serious decline in GSCE numbers. There’s been an incredible 50% drop in DT GCSE entries between 2003 to 2014.

And yet…

Recent research shows that 1.82 million new engineers will be needed by 2022 (Engineering UK, 2015) and 1 million people need to be skilled to fill new creative jobs by 2030 (Nesta, 2015).

What’s happening in RSA academies’ schools?

We are working with teachers on a number of design focussed projects

Manual of Modern Making

Programme with Royal Designers for Industry

RSA Pupil Design Awards

What are we going to be doing?

Working with partners such as Black Country Atelier to advocate what modernisation of the subject looks like via the Manual of Modern Making project.

Scoping how the RSA Pupil Design Awards could be replicated in other schools across the country, marking social design thinking out as a key tool to addressing social problems.

Linking with RSA colleagues who run The Great Recovery programme and exploring how their many fantastic resources and research on the circular economy can be shared in schools. This is design for the future.

Continue to inspire teachers and students with Royal Designers for Industry, this term featuring Georgina von Eztdorf, Robin Levien, Malcolm Garrett, Peter Clegg and Andrew Grant.