Consultation for new D&T GCSE

The consultation for GCSE D&T for first teaching in September 2017 is now open. You can find the new content from the DfE and the consultation document here. You can find the Ofqual consultation document here. The deadline for both responses is 26th August 2015 5.00 pm. So there is some time to consider your response.

Torben and David will be blogging their thoughts in the not too distant future.

6 thoughts on “Consultation for new D&T GCSE

  1. Pingback: Response to DfE consultation on D&T GCSE content (part 1) | David and Torben for D&T

  2. When considering the recent reports which discuss the future skills required for 2020-30, the D & T GCSE revisions, in my opinion, appears to be a missed opportunity. Having read through the document is seems to me that there are critical areas which are not addressed which could have potentially enthused future students. These would include:
    Firm links to technology related employers, FE colleges and Universities.
    Innovative learning approaches.
    Cross curricular innovation.
    International links to students in other cultural contexts.

    Would the 2017 D & T GCSE inspire and enthuse the students already in the secondary system (KS3)?
    No mention of robotics, space communication, blended learning development (via App development), international communication (Google hangouts), soft skills (ability to work with others), project management skills, responsible designer and consumer etc.

    The future of work document below indicates that there are six important areas to consider for future educators. Maybe this would be an opportunity to consider some of these aspects?

    Technological growth and expansion
    Interconnectivity and collaboration
    Convergence of innovation
    Increased individual responsibility
    The shrinking middle
    The four-generational workplace

    The Future of Work
    Jobs and Skills in 2030. Centre for Research in Futures and Innovation, University of South Wales Feb 2014

    The Institute for the Future focus on five educational goals in an effort to equip the next generation with suitable skills and knowledge. Many of these could be made more explicit in the DT GCSE for 2017. See the extract below:

    Educational institutions at the primary, secondary, and
    post-secondary levels, are largely the products of technology
    infrastructure and social circumstances of the past. The
    landscape has changed and educational institutions should
    consider how to adapt quickly in response. Some directions of
    change might include:
    »» Placing additional emphasis on developing skills such as
    critical thinking, insight, and analysis capabilities
    »» Integrating new-media literacy into education programs
    »» Including experiential learning that gives prominence
    to soft skills—such as the ability to collaborate, work in
    groups, read social cues, and respond adaptively
    »» Broadening the learning constituency beyond teens and
    young adults through to adulthood
    »» Integrating interdisciplinary training that allows students to
    develop skills and knowledge in a range of subjects
    Institute for the Future. (accessed 12/07/15).
    Plenty of food for thought and discussion?


    • Thanks for these reflections Alan. My initial (late night…) thoughts in response are:

      1. While I agree that your first four ‘critical areas’ are important I don’t think they are the stuff of a subject content document – whose aim is really to ensure that all the AOs include the same subject subject matter. These are more ways in which you’d hope a D&T department might bring the subject to life.

      2. Your next list I interpret as a mixture of content, teaching approaches and contexts. As above, I think the DfE consultation is firmly focussed on content. So, things like robotics and communication are great contexts for learning the ‘stuff’ that I’m sure many schools will use and that the AOs might suggest (?) in the final specs. They are also products that could very easily arise from many of the contextual challenges. I think ‘blended learning development (via App development) and international communication (Google hangouts)’ are probably teaching approaches through which content could be taught. Stuff like that won’t appear in this content document, but could be suggested by AOs and might appear in guidance for teachers (produced by AOs or others…). And I think your suggestions of ‘soft skills (ability to work with others), project management skills, responsible designer and consumer etc.’ identify content that it might well be argued should be present. I think we might have a discussion around how, it these things were included, they would be best assessed – as that will be the critical other side of the coin….

      3. Your suggestions derived from The Future of Work document are harder for me to place. I think we might need to think about exactly what content we might want in a spec, under each of your headings, bearing in mind manageability of both teaching (we don’t want the specs to swell out of control) and assessment. I think your fourth heading ‘Increased individual responsibility’ might have been covered in the section above (‘responsible designer and consumer’)?

      4. I think the IFTF stuff, in general, needs to be implemented at a much higher level that that of the individual subject or (even narrower) GCSE spec, though we would want the specs to lend them themselves to supporting these kinds of approaches rather than standing in their way. I don’t see anything in the consultation document (but I still need to give it a great deal more thought…) that would block the development of the suggested directions of change – but that would be a useful check to make. In general I think we’d claim that D&T clearly provides very rich potential to support all of the directions of change noted. And certainly individual teachers and departments can go some way to supporting such changes on their own, but really change much higher in the system is called for.


      • As always Alan you raise important issues. I very much agree with Torben’s response to your points and reiterate that the DfE document is guidance to the Awarding Organisations (AOs). It provides a broad framework into which they fit much more detail. At the moment I see this content guidance as having the potential to embrace the modern aspects of technology that I know are dear to your heart but there are two caveats here. First is to what extent will the AOs provide detail that does this? Second is to what extent will schools teach the subject in the ways that you think desirable? The future work skills documents do indeed raise interesting questions as to both what and how we should be teaching. I think you’d find the short pamphlet Parenting for Technology Futures by Illah Nourbakhsh interesting and in line with your own views. See
        The Ofsted document is a different kettle of fish and I have many concerns about the proposed structure of the Assessment Objectives. More on that later!


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