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Education secretary Gove urged to Include Design in English Baccalaureate

A consortium of prominent design industry figures has sent an open letter to education secretary Michael Gove warning him that omitting design related subjects from the English Baccalaureate will jeopardise Britain’s future prosperity.

Education secretary Michael Gove is being warned by Include Design that excluding design from the Ebacc will damage the UK economy

Source: Regional Cabinet

Education secretary Michael Gove is being warned by Include Design that excluding design from the Ebacc will damage the UK economy

Sir Jonathan Ive, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, Sir Terence Conran, The Design Council, D&AD, leading consultancies and Design Week have all put their names to a letter, which triggers the Include Design campaign.

Signatories argue that the omission of design and technology, and art and design from the English Baccalaureate will fail to equip students with the skills that UK employers need, which they argue will have a catastrophic impact on the UK Economy.

The case made to Gove is that the UK’s creative industries are ‘the envy of the world’ setting a bar for ‘excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship.’

The UK’s design industry is the largest in Europe, and according to NESTA £23bn is spent on design while Imperial College puts the figure at £35bn for 2011.

Meanwhile Design Council research demonstrates how the industry grew by 29 per cent between 2005 and 2010.

Include Design therefore urges Gove to add a sixth pillar option to the EBacc.

Many industry figures have been stirred into action by Gove’s proposal, including Conran who says, ‘The creative industries in the UK are the envy of the world and make a significant difference to the quality of our lives and to the economy.

‘The Government’s proposal to strip it from their Baccalaureate makes no sense and sends out completely the wrong message. The strength of the UK creative industries is no accident, it lies in the quality of the education our young receive which is why I founded the Design Museum over twenty years ago.

‘We should be encouraging creativity and innovation in our young, not stifling it. I am depressed enough that as a country we make so few things, imagine if we no longer designed them as well.’

Meanwhile designer Wayne Hemingway, a trustee of the Design Council says, ‘Britain isn’t a leading design nation by accident. It has happened because in the past we have invested in design education. It’s vital that we continue to inspire and equip young people to create and execute their ideas, and nurture the next generation.’

The Include Design campaign is web-based and if you want to get involved, use the hash tag #includedesign or head to includedesign.org

It is part of the Bacc for the Future campaign which encourages participants to sign an online petition to ‘save the future of creativity in schools.’

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