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Design and technology curriculum consultation service

Alison is an Associate Professor, writer, researcher, and podcaster. Alison's work centres on design and technology education. She has edited  Learning to Teach Design and Technology, Debates in Design and Technology Education and Redesigning D&T.

Alison researches the values different people attribute to design and technology education, the influences, origins and consequences. You can hear her sharing ideas on her Talking D&T podcast.

School curriculum leaders are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of all school subject, including design and technology. If you are a senior curriculum leader in a secondary school, we can help you understand the design and technology curriculum, its objective and how design and technology can effectively be organised in your school.

Within Nottingham Institute of Education we have a wealth of academic expertise in design and technology education. This consultancy service offers you and your D&T department a package of support over a 3 month period (typically one school term) delivered by Dr Alison Hardy.

The consultancy is tailored to your schools’ particular needs and usually involves working with the schools’ curriculum lead and the design and technology subject lead.

What does the package of support include? 

Initial consultation (video and telephone call)

During this consultation, usually with the curriculum lead, we will explore your view of how design and technology is taught and should be taught in your school. So, we can help you in your school, we will also ask questions about pupils’ achievement in D&T and the D&T departmental resources (staffing, rooms and equipment).

Onsite visit

Alison will make a one-day site visit to you school. During the day, Alison will meet with you and your D&T colleagues, spending time in the department. The day can be planned to meet your needs, for example: meeting you, D&T teachers, spending time in the department, reviewing curriculum materials. At the end of the day, Alison will share a preliminary analysis of her findings and suggest some actions you can take to develop the D&T curriculum.

Follow up action plan

This will be personalised to you and your school. The plan will include short (6 weeks), medium (2 -3 terms) and long term (1-3 years) actions.

You will be invited to progress reports with Alison via email over the next 6 weeks.

Interim Review

This will be delivered via a phone or video call, approximately 4 - 5 weeks after you received your action plan and reading list. During this call, a review of the progress you and your D&T colleagues have made will be discussed. This appointment will last up to one hour.

Alison will send an updated action plan after the review meeting.

Final Review

You will receive a follow-up phone or video call lasting up to 30 minutes, approximately eight to ten weeks after your initial consultation appointment. This will review your progress and conclude the service, with recommended next steps.

This service does not include lesson observations or providing judgements of the quality of the D&T department using government criteria.

I have been an advocate of design and technology education since I began my first degree in 1988. I began my life as a D&T teacher at the same time as the National Curriculum for England was beginning, so you could say we grew into D&T together. During my time, I've seen and been involved in the ups and downs of D&T's progress and status in secondary schools.

Alongside talking, researching, and writing about D&T, I support D&T teachers at every stage of their careers. I coach curriculum leads and heads of department, teach early career teachers and support teachers in developing their D&T practice. I am committed to bringing people together to develop D&T in a way that keeps the subject relevant and coherent for pupils, teachers and others who have an invested interest in D&T.

How to access this consultancy support

For more information on the support available, how it could work for you, and to discuss your ideas, contact: