In its response to the Henley Review of Cultural Education, the Department for Education announced that it is to fund the Sorrell Foundation’s National Art and Design Saturday Club initiative.
Set up in 2009, the Saturday Clubs give young people aged 14-16 the opportunity to study art and design at a local college or university and are inspired by similar schemes that John and Frances Sorrell attended as teenagers.
Sir John Sorrell says the cash boost will help the Sorrell Foundation’s ambition to extend the scheme to up to 2000 pupils over the next three years.
Laudable stuff from Education Secretary Michael Gove, but one notable absence in the Government’s response was any comment on Design and Technology’s place on the National Curriculum.
D&T’s statutory place in schools is under threat as the Government reviews the National Curriculum and for the last year or so, the Design and Technology Association and others have been campaigning to raise its profile.
While the D&T Assocation tell me they welcome the Henley Review – ‘we obviously support anything that promotes creative subjects’, they say the Government is still not revealing anything on D&T’s curricular future.
They will continue, they say, to lobby Government – including through its new cultural education partnership group.
Big names from the design world including James Dyson, Seymour Powell and Paul Smith are already on board with the campaign. Let’s hope they succeed.