News / Miscellaneous

GCSE results show nearly 10% drop in students taking Design and Technology


Templo: identity for Creative Journeys, The Sorrell Foundation’s initiative encouraging students to pick design and art subjects at GCSE

This year’s GCSE results reveal there has been a 9.7% drop in the number of students in England taking Design and Technology since 2015.

The government’s figures show 173,532 pupils took the subject in 2016 compared with 192,183 last year. A statement from the Design and Technology Association says this will have a knock-on effect on the uptake of design courses at A-level and undergraduate level.

Steve Rutherford, editor of The Design Student’s Handbook, says this has serious consequences for British industry over the next five years. “Not only are [students] less equipped to embark on design based courses but, more importantly, many young people are now completely unaware of the massive career opportunities available in design, creative and manufacturing industries that open up as a direct consequence of studying design at school. As with nurses, doctors and teachers, we will have to look abroad to fill design vacancies.”

Richard Green, chief executive of the D&T Association, says: “This decline started with the removal of the requirement for all pupils to study D&T GCSE in 2004 and has continued, particularly over the last 4 years, as the government has prioritised traditional, English Baccalaureate (Ebacc), subjects over creative, artistic and technical subjects.”