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Bridge over the River Severn at Stourport 

News Archive

On this page you will find articles that have previously appeared on the home page.

6 April 2021 -  I hope you are having a good break.  The testing regime is gaining pace.  I have been getting tested at a local centre but  I now have test kits that I can use at home.  It is my intention to test myself before any training, probably twice a week.  That may reassure those of you who need to reschedule training.
In the teaching resourses section of my website the presentations were all converted to swf files to make them easier to download.  These files are no longer supported.  If you wish to see any of them please contact me.  At this stage, I am not going to change all the links to MS Powerpoint files.

19 March 2021 -   I have been running training courses in Frome and in host schools.  With the testing programme hopefully keeping things in check we can get back to something like normality.  Covid protocols will be in place for some time to come.  The latter part of the summer term is almost fully booked so if you want any of the remaining dates get in touch.  Lots of availability in April and May but that may be too soon for those of you shielding etc.
Welding Training - It is possible that the ban on welding training will be reviewed in July.  Watch this space for updates.

10 July 2020 - Update - I have received confirmation that I will be able to run courses at Frome College from September.  I will definitely be able offer the following refresher courses.  SMHS, S1/7/8 Wood machines,  S2/6 Metal machines, S9HS-Portable Power Tools.  SCHS initial will run at Binegar Memorial Hall or Frome College.  All other courses are subject to confirmation from DATA that I can offer them and this will be based on government guidance. 

Thank you to those schools provisionally looking at training in academic year 2020/21.  As soon as the situation eases and I can run initial training course I will confirm dates.
As we reach the end of the academic year I hope you have a good break and keep safe.

1 July 2020 - COSHH - I have upgraded the COSHH assessment blank.  There were a few formatting issues.  You can download the new version HERE. You can tell if you are looking at the new version if the title bars are yellow, not blue.

11 June 2020  Update - The Design and Technology Association have updated their guidance for re-starting training in schools taking into account the latest information from the government.  They are hoping to get back to normal as soon as possible but as we are in the business of keeping people safe, consultants have been given the following instructions.

· At this time and until further notice the only training permitted is: Initial - SCHS and PCHS. Refresher – any aspect can be carried out by a RDTHSC as long as they deem it safe. No S4HS and S5HS in either refresher or initial training form is permitted to be carried out.”. As usual, RDTHSC should check that all attendees on a refresher training have their certificate from the initial training on the day, or where this is not possible check with the D&T Association that the delegates on their course hold the accreditation.

· All RDTHSCs must wear a face mask to the correct standard required while training and during their time inside the training venue.

· All trainees on the course must wear a mask to the correct standard required whist on the training and during their time in the training venue.

· As is standard practise, no trainee or RDTHSC can wear anything that could be classified in normal times a dangerous, i.e. baggy clothing; loose scarfs around the neck etc.

· RDTHSC to request from the client a COVID-19 site policy prior to arriving at the school/college to ensure they can conform to all rules and procedures set out by the school.

· RDTHSC to request a Risk Assessment from the school for the training session and/or send the client their Risk Assessment for the training day.

· The client to provide hand sanitiser.

· The client to ensure that the doors in the training venue area are always kept open during the day of the training.

· The client to provide fully equipped and working hand washing stations in the room the training is to take place in.

· The training is to be limited to a very strict maximum of four trainees per course for smaller venues under 100m2 or six trainees for sites where the room is over 100m2.

· All trainees and RDTHSC should remain 2m apart throughout the training day, including refreshment breaks and lunch/dinner periods.

· The use of tight-fitting nitrile or latex (latex-free) disposable gloves can optionally be worn during the training. The wearing of gloves is not a requirement

· The use of EN166 safety glasses/goggles for the full duration of the training is recommended.

These instructions will be amended as circumstances change and I will keep you posted on this page.

12 May 2020 - Update - I have now had confirmation from Frome College that all bookings for the foreseeable future have been cancelled. 

11 May 2020 - Update - We now have a sort of a plan from Boris.  Go to work if you can, social distance if you can, take precautions if you can't.  I am waiting for Frome College to confirm status of workshop bookings up to end of July.  If I am due to come to you before the end of term I will contact you in due course, if you don't contact me first.  Training will take place if procedures can be put in place and everybody is happy.  I will not be taking bookings on courses that currently have no delegates.  If you wish to transfer your training into next academic year that will be fine and there will be no additional cost.  At the moment I anticipate that training courses at Frome College will run as scheduled from September.  Please contact me if you have any questions if you have any training issues there may be a way round all of this.

17 April 2020 - Update - Hi everybody and hope you are all keeping well.  Everything seems to be getting cancelled this summer and moved into 2021.  I have now published availability and courses through to July 2021.  If you are booked on any courses and it doesn't run then you can re-book onto the same course in the next academic year at no extra cost.  If you are looking at doing refresher training then don't worry about the 5 year business.  You can only book on courses if they are running.  If I am booked to come to you and you want to re-schedule then check my calendar.  You will not be held to any date but it gives you a starting point when all this is over.  Keep safe.

19 March 2020 - Covid-19 - There are obviously a few issues here.  It would seem likely that schools are going to be closed for the foreseeable future.  I don't have any training scheduled until 20 April but I doubt we will be back to normal by then.  I have published my schedule through to March 2021, and if you have booked me to come to you or you to come to courses at Frome you can move your booking at no additional charge to a future date.  If I were working then I would be moving from place to place coming into contact with a lot of you which would be a problem if I became an unwitting carrier.
I also have to make decisions about my own health so may cancel courses anyway.  Despite not really feeling my age, most of the time,  I am now an old age pensioner and so technically a vulnerable person, so I do have to be sensible about these things.

I will post updates on this page so please come back and check the situation if you are planning training.  E-mail me if you have any questions, and if it's you buying all the toilet rolls, Stop it!

19 January 2020 - My calendar is now showing provisional dates from September 2020 through to March 2021.  At the moment I am planning to offer all the DATA courses just once in academic year 2020/21.

24 October 2019 - Connecting secondary teachers with industry professionals. Teachers in Residence has been set up to provide teachers with the opportunity to work with a UK-based design, manufacturing, engineering or construction business, to get an in depth understanding of modern industry.  If interested click HERE

30 Sept 2019 - Safety Alert from HSE. Click HERE for new information regarding welding mild steel, especially if you don't have LEV.

25 September 2019 - I am no longer able to offer SFHS(Food) or STHS (Textiles) initial training as twilight courses due to minimum contact time mandated by DATA (Design and Technology Association)

13 August 2019 - Creative Learning Solutions, the Food Hygiene course provider, are upgrading the course from September 2019.  As a result, current courses must be completed by 31 December 2019.  If you have a course login and cannot remember your password please contact me as I can retrieve it for you.

23 February 2019 - Safety Alert from HSE. Click HERE for new information regarding welding mild steel, especially if you don't have LEV.

24 January 2019 - Norton Hill School in Midsomer Norton have a Harrison Graduate Lathe (3 phase) for sale.  If interested please contact Chris Steele, DT Technician, at Norton Hill School on 01761 412557 

3 December 2018 - I called into K&M (the yellow catalogue) today and was told their ordering website is now on-line. 
The address is
I have not used it myself yet. 


8 Feb 2018 - The two images below are from the BBC programme 'Money for Nothing'.  A cutting disc being used with the guard removed.  A circular saw with riving knife and crown guard removed.


I complained to the BBC and they have replied.

We appreciate your concern and raised this with the production team again.  They have reassured us that going forward they will endeavour to show and make our audience aware of all best practices.

If you watch the programme - see what you can spot.

16 September 2017 - Frome College D&T Exhibition 2017. Click HERE for a presentation.  I was impressed with the quality of the projects. If you have any comments or queries about the projects you can contact Jill Hiron at jill.hiron@fromecollege.org

The Flying Scotsman : British Engineering still at the top 90 years after it was first made. It's why we need D&T.  Steaming into Levisham on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. (PS The date is wrong on the videp clip)

 Click on image

11May 2017 - What happens if you don't have a regular maintenance programme.  Click HERE to see what came out of a circular saw, and click HERE to see the total amount. 

3 March 2017 - London council fined after school injury  - Click HERE, read and pass on to all our colleagues to highlight the importance of training and maintenance procedures.

10 Feb 2017 - There seems to be a problem downloading 2D Design files from my website.  If you would like any of the 2D Design files on my website please e-mail me and I will send them to you while I try to resolve the problem.

1 Feb 2017 - Pen making - You can buy 10 pen sets from Stiles and Bates. £2.70 each, 10% discount if you buy more than 10 but £4.90 postage.  Axminster only sell boxes of 100, much more expensive if you are just starting out.

12 April 2015 - Do you need a project for BTEC Engineering that covers a lot of skills?  Check the Teaching Resources page; click on BTEC.

17 Nov 2014 - Click HERE for the latest H&S courses leaflet from DATA.  Everything you wanted to know about training but were afraid to ask.

29 Sept 2014 - BS4163:2014 has arrived.  Click HERE to go to DATA shop.  Yes you do need a copy, it should last 7 years so less than £8.30 a year to stay up to date.

4 August 2014 - ClicK HERE for an article in the Sunday Express this week about compensation paid out in school accidents.  Guess what - DT doesn't get a mention, unless a child being cut with a tape measure counts.  (We don't generally use tape measures in DT departments)  Let's keep it that way.

15 June 2014 - I was asked again last week about using MDF.  Click HERE for HSE guidance.  Worth reading as there is a lot of mis-information about.  e.g. HSE is not aware of any country where MDF has been banned, so the old chestnut about being banned in the US would not appear to be true.  I would still try to avoid using it though.

8 April 2014 - Just spotted this one. School fined £9,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,258.50.  Student injured when stack of timber left in foyer falls on ankle.  Click
HERE for more details.  Importance of putting deliveries away quickly, avoids tripping hazards etc.

8 June 2013 - Just a reminder now summer seems to have arrived about making a barbeque out of an oil drum - Click HERE

30 April 2013 - Accident on a sanding disc machine - school fined £3500 plus £5000 costs.Compensation still to be agreed.  Click HERE  for details.

16 Nov 2012 - Why not to clear shavings away from a planing machine whilst it is still revolving. Click