New DT GCSE content to be delayed until 2017, Gibb announces

The introduction of a new design and technology GCSE will be delayed, school reform minister Nick Gibb has announced.

The Department for Education (DfE) had consulted on the subject content for the new qualification in the autumn, but has since announced its implementation will be delayed until September 2017. It had been due for first teaching from September 2016.

Mr Gibb said: “We are reforming GCSEs and A levels to strengthen their academic rigour and to ensure young people are prepared for life in modern Britain. The reforms are extensive and represent a new qualifications standard, keeping pace with universities’ and employers’ needs.

“Draft content for the new GCSE in design and technology was consulted on in autumn 2014. The consultation showed many positive reactions to the creation of a single title for design and technology and the way in which the content had changed to reflect far better the processes of design. These changes will ensure that the subject prepares students well for further study in a rapidly changing world.

“The reforms do, however, represent a significant change to the design and technology GCSE. To ensure all the component parts of the qualification work well together, it is my view that more time is needed to give students the best experience possible.

“First teaching of GCSE design and technology will, therefore, be delayed from 2016 to 2017 to enable the awarding organisations to complete their work and undertake further consultations and discussions with stakeholders.”

The announcement has been welcomed by Andy Mitchell, assistant chief executive of the Design and Technology Association (Data).

He said: “This is good news. A great deal of work has been done to develop the new subject content, which informs the writing of the Specifications by awarding organisations, but to complete the task in the time available has proved very challenging.

“As is always the case with curriculum and examination developments, the DfE plans for documentation relating to significant reform, to be with schools preferably at least a year before implementation.

“It is anticipated that the delay of one year will allow for this and also ease the pressure with respect to both development and implementation. We can take this as the DfE wanting to get right any changes that are necessary.”

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  1. Liam Collins

    Please, for the love of god, delay them all! At least until all the specs are written and consulted on and then give schools a year to plan for them…we are running out of time for September 2015 already.