Designs on the future
Your article "National curriculum of 'flower arranging' and 'sock darning' leaves DT teachers raging" (www.tesconnect.combigedblog) neatly encapsulates a serious issue for schools and the government. Now that the consultation period on the draft national curriculum has concluded, hopefully the necessary revisions can be made to reflect the government's commitment to the provision of "high-quality design and technology education in schools, recognising the importance of the subject to the country's future economic success".
These sentiments are not only ours, but also reflect comments received by the DfE from the professional designers, engineers and educationalists who wrote to the Department because of their amazement at what was proposed in the draft document.
As a group of former presidents of the National Association of Advisers and Inspectors in Design and Technology (NAAIDT), we have seen the subject develop from its roots in craft education into one that allows students to design and make products using the latest materials, technologies and techniques.
While welcoming the government's recognition of DT's distinct nature, we believe the curriculum proposals lack rigour, precision, flair and innovation. We encourage those responsible to listen to the advice of the UK's best designers, engineers and teachers to recast the proposals and move from a barely workable prototype to a product the DfE should be proud to publish.
Bob Welch, On behalf of 16 former presidents of NAAIDT.