According to the DfE, the success of that trial – aimed at boosting the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and design and technology – has led to another £500,000 funding injection.

This will allow 60 teaching schools to buy 3D printers and train teachers to use them effectively – a key development from last year’s trial in which pilot schools reported that early work with the printers was often limited to demonstrations and printing of small files such as 3D shapes.

The funding boost is the latest stage in the government’s plan to improve standards in hi-tech subjects.

Announcing the new 3D printing fund, Gove said: “3D printers are revolutionising manufacturing and it is vital that we start teaching the theory and practice in our schools. Teaching schools will be able to develop and spread effective methods to do this.

“Combined with our introduction of a computer science curriculum and teacher training, this will help our schools give pupils valuable skills.”

The new design and technology curriculum, backed by Sir James Dyson, specifically mentions 3D printers and will see pupils taught about advanced skills, including robotics, so that more are prepared for jobs in the engineering industry.