Press release: New design and technology GCSE will inspire next top designers

A new, gold-standard design and technology (D&T) GCSE to help produce the next generation of James Dysons and Tim Berners-Lees has been unveiled by Schools Minister Nick Gibb.

The new design and technology GCSE will give students the chance to develop their own design briefs and projects and could lead them to producing anything from furniture for disabled people to computer-controlled robots.

Industry experts including those from the James Dyson Foundation have been closely involved in developing the new GCSE content, ensuring it meets the future needs of employers.

It is the latest qualification to be published as part of new, world-class reformed GCSEs and A levels, which are improving the life chances of all young people, wherever they come from.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

As part of our commitment to social justice, we are restoring rigour to the curriculum so all young people, irrespective of background, have access to an excellent, well-rounded education.

We now have a design and technology GCSE which has been shaped by leading industry figures to significantly deepen students’ understanding of this subject.

This is a rigorous qualification which will require students to have a sound grasp of maths and science, and which will undoubtedly stretch them to further develop the kind of knowledge and skills so sought after by employers and universities.

Internationally-renowned designer James Dyson said:

Design and technology is a subject of fundamental importance. Logical, creative and practical – it’s the only opportunity that school students have to apply what they learn in maths and science – directly preparing them for a career in engineering. But until now, this subject’s tremendous potential has not been met.

The James Dyson Foundation has spent 4 years advising the Department for Education on every level of D&T education – and today we can finally unveil a GCSE qualification to be proud of. One that will inspire invention from students and teachers alike. That will nurture a creative mind-set and passion for problem solving. That will appeal to more youngsters than ever before.

Andy Mitchell, Assistant Chief Executive of The Design and Technology Association, said:

The D&T Association believes that the revised subject content provides an excellent platform on which the awarding organisations (AOs) can develop examination specifications reflecting developments in the subject and meeting better the needs of young people, employers, further and higher education and the country.

The content should also inform the provision of continued professional development for teachers, which will be essential in ensuring the teaching of this highly relevant qualification and its increased value and status.

The reformed design and technology GCSE brings together content which had previously existed under a number of D&T titles, ensuring students have a solid grasp of the principles of design which they can apply to a range of disciplines.

Students will be required to have a good grounding in maths and science to study the qualification, in which they will be tasked with making products using the best material, equipment and techniques.

The new qualification will prepare students for further study and careers in design, engineering, manufacturing and related areas.

Since 2010 the government has introduced a rigorous new curriculum, world class exams and an accountability system where schools are recognised for the progress all pupils make across a broad range of subjects.

Notes to editors

Read the GCSE design and technology subject content, aims and objectives guidance for teaching from September 2017.

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