Courses for D&T Technicians

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We offer several courses for D&T technicians including:

  • Basic maintenance and servicing of sewing machines
  • How to use and maintain an overlocker

Scroll down to see details of each course. Some of our courses for teachers may also be of interest to technicians. Contact us for more details. 

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An Introduction to Servicing & Maintaining Sewing Machines
18th November 2019 10am - 4pm
Coles Sewing Centre,
Nottingham, NG1 1EH

Note the National STEM Centre Learning Centre no longer provides bursary funding for this course


This course is led by Coles Sewing Centre along with Paul Boyd

This course is designed for technicians but teachers are also welcome to attend. Although this course is targeted at technicians in schools it may be also be suitable for non education delegates to attend. See information below for more details. If you are an organisation or business with specific needs we can also run an in-house bespoke course designed for your organisation. Contact us for more information. 

What are the course objectives?

  • Understanding how to carry out a basic service of a sewing machine, along with carrying out basic repairs
  • Reviewing the use of sewing machines in a D&T department and identifying common issues & problems
  • Creating a servicing & repair programme to enable machines to be maintained in order to maximise funding

About this course

Hear Neil from Coles Sewing Centre, the engineer who works with us to deliver this course, talk about the course content. 

  • Learn the fundamentals when servicing and maintaining a domestic sewing machine which can significantly reduce costs and downtime for machines at busy times.
  • Find out about fault finding and diagnosing common problems on a range of machines keeping downtime to a minimum. 
  • Learn how to keep machines at maximum efficiency and output through some simple and easy regular checks, and tips from the experts, for example, have you ever spent ages changing needles, threads and the tension trying to work out why a machine is skipping stitches? Did you know that if the metal surface of the hook where the bobbin sits inside your sewing machine is even slightly scratched it can prevent stitches forming correctly?
  • Understand how thread and needle choices impact on the quality of stitch. 
  • Find out about key oiling and lubrication points that keep your machines running. 
  • Advice on creating a servicing and maintenance plan for your organisation in order to reduce costs and make workload manageable. 
  • Delegates will bring along a machine from their department which they will service meaning they can apply their learning from the day to their personal context (it may be possible to borrow a machine but this must be arranged beforehand). They will also see other brands of machine being serviced. 
  • Learn how to use machines that don’t work to repair other machines. 
  • What to look for when investing in new machines and how to make money out of ones that no longer work. 
  • Health and safety issues to consider when using and maintaining sewing machines, including risk assessment guidance to enable organisations to create their own risk assessment documents. 
  • Take away the basic equipment and supporting resources to get started straight away on your return to your organisation. 
  • No previous experience is necessary and although the course is designed for technicians in schools and colleges, teachers and other that feel they may benefit from the course are welcome to attend. 
machines 2

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for D&T technicians working in a school or college environment. Although the content targets this group and has specific information and guidance for this context it may also be suitable for other users of domestic sewing machines, for example: 

  • Small business owners who use domestic sewing machines
  • Organisations such as theatre & dance companies, scouts and brownies.
  • Home users who want to know more about maintaining and everyday fault finding on their machine. 

If you are an organisation or business with specific needs we can also run an in-house bespoke course designed for your organisation. Contact us for more information. 

What resources do I get on the course?

  • A servicing toolkit consisting of key equipment for servicing a sewing machine. 
  • Resources that support the day and which act as a reminder for key points, including short videos and instruction sheets that can be printed out or viewed electronically. 
  • Book retailing at £17 written by a recognised engineer with tips on fault finding on a sewing machine. 
  • Servicing & maintenance log.
  • Risk assessment guidance that can be used to develop risk assessment documents personalised to an organisation. 
  • A point of contact for queries linked to the course. 

What does this course not include?

These points might help you identify if this is the best course to meet your needs:

  • This course doesn’t completely replace the need for a full service programme by a qualified engineer, but the advice given on the course has the potential to significantly reduce the frequency and cost of servicing. It will also help reduce the amount of downtime for machines, which is particularly important for D&T departments at key busy times. 
  • The course doesn’t include aspects of electrics, PAT testing, hydraulics or timing and calibration. 
  • Note The National STEM Centre Learning Centre no longer runs this course so there is no bursary funding available and the full course fee is payable. 
servicing machines

What delegates say about this course: 

Well structured course, good pace, very informative & interesting, good demonstrations with advice

The practical strip down of the machines was very useful as this showed me how I can fix and service machines at our school in a comprehensive way

I found all of the sessions useful as I had very limited knowledge to begin with

I have more confidence and know how to carry out basic servicing of a sewing machine. I am looking forward to putting this into practice in my school. 

I feel confident that I can maintain the school sewing machines to a much higher standard than I previously could, and I am happy that I will be able to repair some currently broken machines. 

I feel more confident with the technical aspects of maintaining the sewing machines for my faculty and being able to create and follow a service schedule, as well as being able to advise textiles teachers and my HOF about requirements for servicing including more educated future purchase advice. 

A well thought out day full of advice and learning catering for all levels of previous knowledge.

Teaching staff were very knowledgeable.

I found the course to be excellent, relevant and very enjoyable.  Bringing a school machine meant that I was able to hit the ground running when I got back to school. 

What’s different about our course? Why should your school release you?

  • Past delegates feedback on the significant savings this course can make for a department, along with a reduction in downtime of machines at busy times. 
  • Resources delegates take away can be used straight away and provide longer term support in the workplace. 
  • Tips from our expert engineer on simple things that make a big difference to your everyday routines e.g. did you know the presser foot should always be lifted when threading the needle to make the thread sit correctly between the tension dials making it less likely there’ll be a bird’s nest of clogged thread at the beginning of your sewing?
  • Our courses are known for their focus on real solutions for real classrooms with practical applications that really work and which don’t increase workload. 
  • Content is developed by Paul Boyd and Julie Boyd who have significant experience of working with and supporting D&T technicians in schools. The content of the day itself is delivered by Paul Boyd and Neil Coles, an engineer with extensive experience servicing and maintaining sewing machines in schools.  
  • Follow up email support is available after courses to help ensure delegates can apply their learning. 
  • Click here for more information on what makes our courses different to those of other trainers, along with tips on persuading your school to release you
  • For more information about this course email us

How to book this course

To book a place on this course using a school purchase order download the booking form and email to

This course can also be booked and paid for online by credit card. Choose the date & venue from the options below and click ‘add to cart' (enter your school purchase order number if you have one or leave blank if you are paying for yourself).  The payment is processed by PayPal & they send you a receipt immediately. We also send confirmation of your booking by email, as well as a separate receipt for payment, but this may take a few days to be sent. The payment is a secure online transaction and no credit card information is passed onto us. Click here to see alternative ways of booking this course.

See the course terms & conditions

Monday 18th Nov 2019, 10.00am - 4.00pm
Coles Sewing Centre, Nottingham, NG1 1EH

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L Overlocker 6787

Using & Maintaining Your Overlocker
10am - 4pm
Note the National STEM Centre Learning Centre no longer provides bursary funding for this course

There are currently no dates planned for this course. 
Contact us if you would like us to consider adding a date to the calendar 

Teachers are also welcome to attend this course.

Please note: Participants must bring an overlocker to the course. If you do not have an overlocker one overlocker will be available to book in some venues but this must be booked in advance will be on a first come first served basis.


On this course you will:

  • learn how to use an overlocker, from the basics of threading and stitching to more advanced use
  • understand how to carry out a very basic service of an overlocker, along with carrying out very basic repairs
  • review the use of overlockers in the department and identify common issues and problems
  • create a basic maintenance programme to maximize the performance and use of overlockers in the department

Course content

This CPD is aimed both teachers and technicians, looking to maximise their use of an overlocker in the classroom and understand more about their maintenance and safe use.

An overlocker is a specialist piece of textiles equipment that gives a professional quality finish to textiles products, replicating shop bought products. For students, being able to use an overlocker in the classroom is a good way for them to learn about industrial practice, speeding up the manufacture of products and significantly improving the quality and appearance of classroom work.

The day will include:

  • finding out about the different types of overlockers eg 3, 4 and 5 thread
  • how to thread a machine, including tips on quick threading
  • types of stitches an overlocker can do and their uses
  • types of needles and thread used in overlockers
  • the benefits of a differential feed
  • using the overlocker with different types of fabrics
  • common problems when using an overlocker and how to solve them
  • reviewing how an overlocker can be used a classroom with tips on their effective use
  • health and safety when using an overlocker
  • cleaning of visible working components
  • maintenance of bladesminor maintenance of key working parts of the overlocker
  • developing department systems for basic maintenance, looking at common issues and faults that reduce the effectiveness of a machine
  • advice on what to look for when buying a new machine
  • This course is hands on, with participants producing samples to take away with them for the classroom.
  • Participants should note that they will not be stripping down the overlocker and carrying out a full service. If you are interested in sewing machine maintenance, please take a look at our CPD on the basic servicing and maintenance of sewing machines.  

Please note: Participants must bring an overlocker to the course. If you do not have an overlocker one overlocker will be available to book in some venues but this must be booked in advance will be on a first come first served basis.

How to book this course

There are currently no dates planned for this course. 
Contact us if you would like us to consider adding a date to the calendar 

What else would you like to know about our courses?

We have Lead Facilitator accreditation as part of the National STEM Learning Centre CPD Quality Mark

Find out how to book a course

See the course terms & conditions

Find out about course venues 

Find out what makes our courses different

Get tips on persuading your school to release you to come on a course

Hear what delegates say about our courses

Dates not convenient for you? 

It is sometimes possible to add in additional dates and venues for workshops so contact me if a date doesn’t suit you. 

Want a course delivering at your school?

Bespoke workshops can also be delivered either at your school or at an external venue. Email for more details.

Want to contact us?

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