What Factors do Teachers of Design & Technology Feel may have led to the Decline in GCSE entries within England?

Participant Informed Consent
Researcher : Claire Vickery

By completing this survey you confirm that you agree to take part in this research project, and that the information you give can be used to help form a body of research that will be submitted to Buckingham University and disseminated on a wider scale to interested parties and the D&T community.

Participants will not be identified within this body of work. Data relating to participants within this survey is only asked so that the researcher can synthesise data which may be used in the final report, such as '63% of teachers who have taught for more than 10yrs  felt.......'

After submission participants can seek to withdraw their data by contacting claire@sonderandmeraki.co.uk . However, in such circumstances, please be aware that only data which can be identified as your own can be withdrawn and therefore anonymous submissions may mean a withdrawal cannot be processed.

If you require further information prior to the completion of this survey please visit www.sonderandmeraki.co.uk or email claire@sonderandmeraki.co.uk 

1.Only participants who give their informed consent by selecting below should continue with this survey. If you do not wish to give your informed consent to proceed, please exit the survey now.

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About you
(Your current role, previous experience and teacher training). 

2.What is your most recent role in relation to Design and Technology education?

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3.Which age bracket do you sit within?

4.How long have you been a qualified teacher, including your NQT year?

5.Which region within England are you currently located?
(If you are located outside of England or between two regions, please choose the one in which your last teaching post was located).

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6.Do you feel that the area you are located within England particularly impacts your role as a teacher of Design and Technology or the decline within the subject? If so, why?

7.Please briefly explain your route into teaching.

For example, you may have completed teacher training at 21, straight after your degree or perhaps worked in industry for many years before completing a degree aged 48, followed by teacher training....

8. When completing your teacher training, in which subject did you mainly specialise?

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8.As D&T was not the subject that you originally trained within, please explain what has led you to now become a teacher of D&T.

9.What is the title of the qualification that you studied at degree level?

If you have any additional qualifications at higher education level, such as a Masters in Design or Masters in Education, please do also state these here in order of completion.

E.g. BA Hons in Design (Fashion/Textiles) ; MA in Education 

10.How often did you work with the following material areas throughout your higher education?

If you have not completed a degree or an equivalent level of education, please choose 'never' for each option.

OftenSometimes AlwaysSeldomNever
Electronic and Mechanical Systems
Food Based Materials
Metal Based Materials
Paper and Board Based Materials
Polymer Based Materials
Textile Based Materials
Timber Based Materials

11.Which of the following do you feel confident and competent in teaching:

Confident = belief that you are able to
Competent = possession of necessary knowledge/skill                                                              


Highly confident and competentFairly confident and competent Not confident or competent
Electronic and Mechanical Systems (KS3)
Electronic and Mechanical Systems (KS4)?
Food Based Materials (KS3)
Food Based Materials (KS4)
Metal Based Materials (KS3)
Metal Based Materials (KS4)
Paper and Board Based Materials (KS3)?
Paper and Board Based Materials (KS4)
Polymer Based Materials (KS3)?
Polymer Based Materials (KS4)?
Textile Based Materials (KS3)?
Textile Based Materials (KS4)?
Timber Based Materials (KS3)?
Timber Based Materials (KS4)?

Your thoughts, feelings and perspectives.

12.Reflecting upon your experiences, which of the following factors do you feel have had an impact on the decline in entries within the D&T GCSE?

Please choose as many as you feel appropriate.

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13.In your professional opinion, do you feel Design and Technology is the right name for the subject? If no, what would you suggest as more appropriate?

14.What do you feel the purpose of D&T should be? How do you feel this compares ´╗┐to your current experience within the subject?

15.What three words are most appropriate to describe the subject as it stands today? Please feel free to elaborate and to explain why if you so wish.

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16.What three words would you like to be able to use to describe the subject? What is stopping you from using these words now to describe the subject? What changes need to happen to allow this?

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17.The material areas which should be included within the subject are often well debated. However, in your professional opinion, which of the following material areas should sit within the national curriculum for Design and Technology?

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18.Please explain the choices you made in the last question. For example, why did you select certain material areas/why not others/where would you place them instead or maybe you see no need at all for these areas.

19.In your experience, is it a realistic expectation for teachers of D&T to be able to teach across all material areas, including Food?

Explain why/why not? What are the advantages/disadvantages of this? What should the expectation be?

20.Do you feel teaching spaces within design and technology should be multi-purpose to promote a holistic curriculum that encourages the merging of material areas? Why/Why not? What strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats may you experience or envisage in moving away from specialist areas to adopt this approach?

21.Please explain any current challenges you experience in your role as a teacher of the subject? (This could be anything at all and may include things such as funding, restraints imposed by your setting, target grades, workload, lack of tools and equipment, lack of technician/TA support etc.......) 

22.If there was just one thing that could be done to increase the entries within the D&T GCSE, what would you suggest this should be?

23.On the scale below, how much do you agree with the following statement?

"In my professional experience, Design and Technology generally lacks adequate funding within secondary schools".

24.On the scale below, how much do you agree with the following statement?

"As a teacher of Design and Technology, I have sometimes felt quite isolated".

25.On a scale below, how much do you agree with the following metaphorical statement?

"Sometimes it feels like we are always forgotten in Design and Technology".

26.On a scale below, how much do you agree with the following metaphorical statement?

"SLT rarely understand our subject. They just don't seem to get it".

27.Reflecting upon your professional experience, please consider the following statement and what may have made somebody to feel this way. 
 
"...Design and Technology is a subject for few and not for all".

28.If you were applying for a teaching job in a design and technology department, what would be your non-negotiable's?

For example, would it be that there were certain material areas that you could teach or that D&T was taught in a certain way, or that your timetable was structured in a particular way?

KS3 Curriculum 

29.In your experience, who generally decides the curriculum that is taught within the subject, at school level?

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30.In your current setting, how are pupils taught at Key Stage 3?

If you are not currently in a setting, please reflect back to the last school which you were in.

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31.Reflecting upon your experience of teaching KS3, what are your preferences/thoughts on the different ways that KS3 tend to be taught?

You may wish to discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

  • Material areas are clearly defined and pupils rotate to a new teacher for each material area.
  • Material areas are clearly defined and pupils rotate to work within these areas, however pupils maintain the same teacher for each material area.
  • There is a holistic approach to the curriculum meaning material areas are merged and not taught in isolation.


32.Which material areas are included in the Design and Technology curriculum at KS3 in your most recent setting (whether taught holistically or in isolation)?

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33.Which material areas do you feel should be included in the Design and Technology curriculum at KS3 (whether taught holistically or in isolation)?

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34.How many minutes a fortnight are allocated to pupils within the subject, as a whole, at Key Stage 3?

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35.How many minutes a fortnight do you feel is an adequate and realistic allocation to pupils within the subject, as a whole, at Key Stage 3?

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36.Are your KS3 classes timetabled any extended lesson time, such as doubles or triples?

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37.Do you feel the D&T curriculum is.....

Yes definitelyNot at allIn some ways
Complex?
Ill-fitting?
Broad?
Exciting?
Rigorous?
Restrictive?
Experimental?
Ambitious?
Appropriately Balanced?
Inspiring?
Impractical?
Creative?
Narrow?
Promotes Teacher Agency?
Clear and Concise?
Well structured?
Imaginative?
Progressive?
Aspirational?
Out Dated?
Ambiguous?
Arduous?

38.Please elaborate on the way in which you rated the words in the following question.

Additionally, if there are other words that you would like to suggest, please do so here.

39.How well do you think the D&T national curriculum is written to allow schools to meet each of the targets it sets out?

Definitely Meets Partially Meets Not Met
develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.
critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

40.Do you feel the four aims of the national curriculum below capture the essence of what D&T is and are appropriate aims? If not, why not? How would you amend/rewrite these?

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41.Do you feel the national curriculum encourages an appropriate balance of exploring, designing, creating, evaluating and knowledge?

Not enoughAbout rightToo much
Exploring
Designing
Creating
Evaluating
Core/Technical Knowledge

42.How would you rephrase the words Exploring, Designing, Creating, Evaluating and Core/Technical Knowledge to reflect the key concepts within your personal vision of D&T?

43.Do you ask for voluntary contributions in KS3?

KS4 Curriculum

44.In which year do pupils begin their option subjects?

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45.How long do you feel in your professional opinion and experience, should be allocated for pupils to complete the GCSE course? 
 

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46.Which qualifications are offered by your design and technology department at KS4?

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47.Please explain what/who influenced the choices selected above:

48.Which qualifications do you feel should be offered by design and technology departments at KS4?

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49.Why do you feel these specifications should be offered?

50.Do you feel the Design & Technology GCSE as a whole (the NEA and written exam) is fairly and effectively assessed? Why/Why not? What suggestions would you make to improve the assessment process?

51.Do you feel the KS4 specifications encourage an appropriate balance of exploring, designing, creating, evaluating and technical knowledge?

Not enoughAbout rightToo much
Exploring
Designing
Creating
Evaluating
Core/Technical Knowledge

52.If you could create a new specification for the subject, how would you structure this?

53.Are pupils who opt for Design and Technology (or the equivalent at GCSE level) automatically given a place on the course? Or is there an application process or aptitude test? Do behaviour or any other considerations get taken into account?

54.How do you feel about target grades for pupils? In your experience how are these generally generated and does this method create accurate targets within design and technology?

55.How many minutes a fortnight are allocated to pupils within the subject at Key Stage 4?

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56.Are your KS4 classes timetabled any extended lesson time, such as doubles or triples?

57.How many minutes a fortnight do you feel is an adequate and fair allocation to pupils within the subject at Key Stage 4?

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58.In your experience, how has the timetabling/duration of lessons impacted the subject?

Continued Professional Development

59.Within the last year what proportion of your directed continued professional development (such as inset days/twilights) would you estimate was subject specific?

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60.Within the last year what proportion of your directed continued professional development (such as inset days/twilights) would you estimate was related to teaching in general, rather than been subject specific development?

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61. Where are your go-to places for support if you are required to teach areas of the curriculum that you are unsure about or you have questions related to your role as a teacher of Design and Technology?

Please select no more than 3.

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62.In general, do you feel that there is a lack of high quality and easily accessible subject specific continued professional development available for the following in D&T?

Yes No 
Teaching Assistants
Technicians
Non-Specialist/Non-Qualified Teachers
Trained Teachers of D&T
Head of Department/Head of Faculty

62.Reflecting upon your experience, please explain the particular areas that lack CPD opportunities. This could be for yourself, as a teacher or for other colleagues such as health and safety, maintaining tools and equipment etc

63.Have you ever felt that you have had to 'fight' to enable yourself or others to attend health & safety training within the subject?

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64.Please explain any ways in which you feel your teacher training, could have better prepared you for life as a teacher of Design and Technology.

65.In your experience, do you feel teachers who have previously worked professionally within a relevant design and technology career, are better placed as teachers, than those who have not had this experience? Is this experience relevant? Why/Why not?

66.In your experience, is the school day conductive of allowing time for teachers to have professional dialogue with each other, to build relationships, offer support and reflect?

66.Please suggest, in your professional opinion, what could be done to support teachers in being able to have the time to conduct professional dialogue with each other, build relationships, offer support and reflect?

67.Have you ever spent time liaising with a professional of primary education, secondary science or secondary mathematics, to collaborate, discuss, share resources or plan a design and technology curriculum? If yes, please explain further how you set this up and the purpose of your professional dialogue.

68.Are you a member of the Design and Technology Association? 

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68.How long have you been a member of the Design and Technology Association?

69.If you would like to elaborate further on your thoughts, feelings and experiences of the Design and Technology Association, such as why you are a member/why not/the advantages and disadvantages/the support you have been given etc, please do so here.

About Others 
(The perceptions they portray). 

70.In your setting, how is the Design and Technology department commonly known and referred to by others? (e.g. DT, Tech, Creative Arts, D&T)

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71.In the last 5 years, in your experience, would you deem recruitment of qualified design and technology teachers to be...

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72.
In your experience, how effectively do you feel design and technology is supported by others outside of the department?

Very ineffectivelySomewhat ineffectivelyNeither effectively nor ineffectivelySomewhat effectivelyVery effectively
Senior Leadership Team
ICT Technicians/Support (e.g. setting up new equipment such as CAD/CAM)
Site Staff (such as caretakers)
Governing Bodies/Board of Trustees
Parents
Pupils
Local Businesses

73.
In your experience, how effectively do you feel design and technology is perceived by others outside of the department?

Good Perception Neutral Perception Poor PerceptionUnsure
Site Staff (such as caretakers)
Teaching staff in other departments
ICT Technicians/Support
Local Businesses
Senior Leadership Team
Parents
Governing Bodies/Board of Trustees
Pupils

74.In your professional opinion which of the following roles within your department are under headcount and what impact does the absence of this role have on the department?
 

Head of DepartmentQualified teacher of Design and Technology
Technician
Teaching Assistant
Urgently required - substantial negative impact which is affecting well-being of other staff and pupil progress
Required - but we are working around this and coping okay at the moment, as a short-mid term solution
Required - but the impact is minimal and the current situation is sustainable on a long term basis
Fully staffed

75.Have you ever been told or heard...

"We can't staff the subject properly because finding DT teachers is too hard"

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76.Reflecting upon your experience with D&T, do you feel gender stereotyping/bias (either consciously or unconsciously) has ever impacted the subject, teachers or pupils? If so, how and by whom?

77.Reflecting upon your experience, have you ever observed a social divide (either consciously or unconsciously) within the subject?

For example, the subject often requires the use of materials and equipment - do you feel this has ever created a barrier for some pupils in being able to participate or choosing to opt for the subject in KS4? If so, how do you/can we seek to mitigate against this?

78.In your experience, who generally allocates the budget to the department and how is this then controlled within the department? What are your feelings in regards to this? What challenges have you come across?

79.How likely are you to recommend the career of being a teacher of Design and Technology in a secondary school to another person?

Not at all Likely

Extremely Likely

0/10
1/10
2/10
3/10
4/10
5/10
6/10
7/10
8/10
9/10
10/10

80.You have now come to the end of the structured questions, however if you have any further thoughts, feelings or perspectives about factors that may have impacted the decline in GCSE entries within Design and Technology, please share these below. 

Upon analysis of this survey, there may be some questions/answers that require further context or clarity. If this is the case and you are happy to be contacted to discuss your answers within this survey further, please also leave your email address below.

Thank you once again for participating within this survey. Please encourage your colleagues to do so also, as I strongly believe that it is only together, as a collective, that we will make our subject stronger. Every voice really does count.

Claire