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After meeting a Worcester University lecturer in his constituency surgery, Peter Luff has intervened to get important changes made to the Design and Technology curriculum.

Peter Luff, the MP for Mid Worcestershire met Evesham resident Susan Wood-Griffiths, Senior Lecturer in Design and Technology Education, in his surgery two weeks ago where she raised serious concerns about the structure of the new National Curriculum. Peter, who believes the practical skills taught in Design and Technology are central to our nation’s future success and to helping young people develop their full potential at school, intervened with the Prime Minister, the Education Secretary and the Skills Minister to urge change – and he believes he’s making good progress.

A consultation on the National Curriculum was launched in February, giving members of the public the opportunity to share their views on the Government’s proposals for the new curriculum. Teachers in the subject are worried that the new curriculum is poorly structured and sets the wrong priorities.

This week Peter has received reassurances from the Secretary of State for Education that Design and Technology would be given further consideration in the new National Curriculum to be taught in schools.

Peter explained,

“Susan drew my attention to real shortcomings in the consultation document. Although cooking skills are really important, I was very concerned that the proposed curriculum gave an absolute priority to teaching children to cook over teaching them other practical skills such as resistant materials, design, planning, prototyping and so on.”

At Education Questions this week Peter asked,

“We all want young people to be able to cook, but the design and technology curriculum on which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is consulting at present is very important to the whole future of British industry and the British economy, so does he not think that giving primacy to cooking in that curriculum might be over-egging the pudding?”

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, replied,

“In design and technology, we absolutely need to listen to those sections of our economy that will generate prosperity for the future and that want people to be well trained. However, cooking is not just important, but critical as a life skill and as a means of ensuring that Britain remains a wonderful and attractive place for visitors and our own citizens. “

After Education Questions Peter commented,

“I welcome the Secretary of State’s response that the importance of engineering and teaching our children practical skills will be taken into account in the new National Curriculum.

“With a desperate shortage of engineers and a real need to understand the practical issues around engineering and design, it is essential that children are able to learn skills that will allow them to go on into careers in this area.

“Of course children must learn to cook, as this is a very important life skill, but it is crucial that we have enough practical engineers in the future. Pupils will not be able to develop an interest in this subject if it is not taught effectively at school.

“Thanks in large part to Susan’s intervention. I am now confident that the Government will strike a better balance between these two important objectives of our schools’ curriculum.”


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