P-05-802 Protecting Class Sizes in Design and Technology Classrooms and Workshops, Correspondence – Petitioner to Committee, 29.04.19

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Ms Williams' letter dated 21st March 2019. 

Whilst I appreciate that an effort has been made to make schools aware of their obligations regarding safeguarding students, I remain concerned that this advice note does not make the message clear enough to school leaders.  The advice note makes a passing comment on Design and Technology, but on following the link supplied within the newsletter, I fail to find any direct reference to any subject specific legislation or guidance.  Surely this would have been the opportunity to reference BS4163:2014, where it is clearly stated that :

"9 Management of the teaching environment

9.1 General

The number of learners in any one work area should be carefully considered to

ensure safe working and effective supervision.

In England and Wales, there should be a maximum of 20 learners with one

competent, qualified teacher in any one work area."

On another point, I question the effectiveness of publishing this information in the Dysg Newsletter.  Of the many Design and Technology teachers I've contacted regarding this advice note, only one received the newsletter, and she admitted that she rarely read it. 

I firmly believe that for the Minister's commitment on this issue to be effective, it would be far better for her to further ask her officials to send a clearly worded advice note directly to all school leaders outlining their responsibilities regarding class sizes in Design and Technology workshops.

Yours sincerely

Aled Dafis