Ofsted report finds that a lack of specialist design and technology teachers means expensive school equipment sometimes lies idle
The Ofsted report 'Education for a technologically advanced nation: Design and Technology in schools 2004/07' found that a lack of specialist trained Design and Technology teachers in some parts of the country results in equipment in some schools lying unused.
This report is based on a three-year evaluation of design and technology in primary and secondary schools. Evidence was drawn from school inspections during the period 2004/05 as well as from focused surveys of design and technology by Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI), with a minimum of 30 primary and 30 secondary schools inspected each year from 2004 to 2007. The surveys evaluated whether the subject was meeting its National Curriculum aims, including its contribution to educational inclusion, especially through the accreditation of examinations, and food technology in secondary schools.
Most pupils enjoy designing and making things, but older students do not always have use of the machinery and the computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) equipment already in schools, as some teachers, including newly qualified teachers, are not sufficiently trained to use and teach with them.
The provision of suitable resources for Design and Technology also remains too variable. CAD/CAM equipment is not equally available throughout all secondary schools, and the gap between schools that have up-to-date resources and those that do not is widening.
Ofsted found a rise in pupils' achievement in both primary and secondary schools, though at least two thirds of the primary schools and a third of the secondary schools visited have still not realised the potential of design and technology to help all learners become confident and capable members of a technologically advanced society.