ASCL comment on EPI report into declining design and technology take-up in schools

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the Education Policy Institute (EPI) report revealing that student entries in design and technology have halved over the last decade.
“The government talks a lot about its plans for a ‘skills revolution’ but has unfathomably not only neglected the importance of Design and Technology, but actively devalued the subject.
“As this report highlights, there are a number of factors which have contributed to the decline in students entering these qualifications.
“However, it did not help that the government decided to prioritise a set of traditional academic subjects in its English Baccalaureate suite of subjects – which underpin school performance tables – at the expense of other subjects such as Design and Technology and the creative arts. This has had the inevitable effect of driving non-EBacc subjects to the fringes of the curriculum.
“While schools strive to provide their students with a full and rounded curriculum, they have to do this under the glare of intense accountability pressures, squeezed budgets, and a government which has made it clear that certain subjects are more important than others.
“It would be the most obvious thing in the world for the government to support and promote Design and Technology as part of its skills revolution and we are sure it would be welcomed too by many employers.”