The Department has worked with organisations such as the James Dyson Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering to reform the design and technology (D&T) A level, GCSE and curriculum. The content emphasises the iterative design processes at the heart of modern industry practice. There is also more mathematical and science content that students must use and relate closely to D&T, and a much greater use of design equipment such as 3D printers and robotics. Under the new national curriculum, reformed in 2014, D&T remains a compulsory subject in all maintained schools from Key Stage 1 to 3. Maintained schools are also required to offer it as a subject at Key Stage 4. Academies can use the national curriculum as a benchmark for what they teach. The D&T GCSE counts towards the Progress 8 secondary accountability measure.
The new qualification will prepare students for further study and careers in design. To ensure the subject is taught well, the Department supports recruitment of D&T teachers through bursaries of up to £12,000 for eligible candidates.
For post-16 students, the Government is introducing T Levels, based on learning from the best international examples. Once fully introduced, many of the new T Level programmes will focus on core science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations, including in the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Designed by employers, T Levels will give students access to high quality technical study programmes, which will prepare them for employment and higher level study in STEM occupations.