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I was the only girl studying A-level electronics

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by Shedman, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-47816870

    Well nobody will be studying electronics A-level in my old school like they used to because the one person department was closed down when the teacher retired to save costs and staffing.

    Electronics, that's one subject that you would think would have a future but the subject choices in schools are being pared back to save money. !2 students in an A-level electronics class used to be a healthy number but now many A-level sets in the 'popular' subjects like sciences, English, economics etc have up to 30 students - pack 'em in and teach 'em cheap.
     
  2. bobpite

    bobpite New commenter

    Hi Shedman, Saw that article and I Totally agree with you. (By the way I'm only replying to try and keep the moribund D and T forum going.) I still go out for a drink with my old dept of about 12 retired people. I think there's about 2 people left in the school's tech department and I don't know how they're managing now the outstanding technician has retired. He was the only one left in the department that could tell a capacitor from a cake tin. Actually one of our number of old but well qualified Old G!ts is still teaching. She went to a UTC which was closed down before she completed a year.. Now she's teaching in the private sector. Before she started at the private school she was told that they were worried about a class of 22 she would be taking. "So we're going to split it into 2 groups of 11".
     
  3. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Same with my old DT department. It once had three full timers and me who taught half a timetable split with science. The department now has one part time DT teacher and others from Art and Science who make up the equivalent of about one and a half staff. There's no head of DT anymore, a member of SLT basically manages the department from their ivory tower.
     
  4. Ex-teacher

    Ex-teacher Occasional commenter

    We went from 6 full timers, one part time and 2 almost full time technicians, to 2 fulltime, 1 part time and a very part time technician. Being the most experienced it was assumed I would do the HoD role, for no pay or extra time. They also assumed i could teach RM, control, textiles and food, with no extra training or support.

    The technician was great for food, but wouldn't touch the circular saw or even a pillar drill,

    I managed it for about 4 years (mug that I am), until it made me ill. I was replaced with an rqt. The other full time left 2 terms later as he wasnt prepared to do everything he'd seen me struggling with. Another nqt replaced him, and when the part time retired she was replaced by a full timer, but another rqt.

    Option groups have gone from 6 or 7 groups of 20 across the subject, to 3 groups of 26ish. Results have plummeted.

    They're all teaching outside the department to fill up their timetables, mostly maths as there aren't enough sums teachers.

    I fear the subject I loved wont be around in a few years.
     
  5. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Much the same as in many other schools. It makes more financial sense for students to study classroom based subjects rather than have practical subjects in a workshop. Class sizes can be bigger, there is a much less health and safety risk and you don't have to employ technicians. buy consumables and maintain machinery.

    The subject I loved died about a couple of years ago when the new single title technology 9-1 GCSE courses were introduced. Out went all the old specialisms and we had this monstrous, content driven course made up a bits and pieces from all the previous specialities. There was little to get your teeth into. I taught Electronic Products but the amount of electronics in the new spec was cursory and there was no depth to the knowledge required. I had neither the expertise , enthusiasm or motivation to teach the new wretched courses so I retired. I am firmly convinced that the changes to GCSE has led to the collapse in DT teacher recruitment - down to 26% of target this year.

    As you say, DT won't be around many more years in most schools and yet it's one of those subjects which gives an introduction and the skills needed for a modern industrial society.
     
  6. Ex-teacher

    Ex-teacher Occasional commenter

    Agreed @Shedman

    The introduction of the new GCSE was the last straw for me....

    If I'd stayed I would have had a new 3 year gcse to implement for year 9, and new 2 year GCSE to implement for year 10, and the old GCSE RM to continue for year 11.

    The camel's back was already damaged, and the thought of this made me retire before I gave way altogether.

    Great shame the way our subject is going.
     
    Shedman likes this.

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