Design industry calls on Government to protect design education

A group of leading designers and education experts have appealed to Education Secretary Michael Gove to keep design and technology in the National Curriculum.

D&T has been a compulsory subject in schools since the 1980s, but a review of the National Curriculum, which is set to conclude next year, puts this position under threat.

In a letter in today’s Times, signatories including Sir Paul Smith, Sir Terence Conran, Seymour Powell founder Dick Powell and Design Council chief executive David Kester have called on Gove to retain D&T as a statutory subject, to ‘[Ensure] Britain has an education system that meets the needs of the 21st century economy’.

The letter says, ‘If the Chancellor wants to realise his ambition of “made in Britain, created in Britain, designed in Britain and invented in Britain”, D&T must remain at the heart of the curriculum.’

Earlier this year, the Design and Technology Foundation, Seymour Powell and the James Dyson Foundation organised the event Is Creative Britain in Reverse? which aimed to highlight the threat to design education both at National Curriculum and Higher Education level.

The Government’s Creative Industries Panel, which features design industry representatives, is also looking to raise the issue of design education to Government.

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  • Michael Stewart November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    If the government is serious about promoting Britsh Design abroad – as the recent visits to China & Russia by the PM suggest – then the subject must have an equal level of grass roots support within the UK’s education system.

  • Julian November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I don’t see the logic in removing such an influential subject off of the curriculum. The subject has always stimulated and brought thousands of people’s creativity to light including the well acclaimed Seymour Powell Paul Smith, Terence Conran and many more. Even more so now, in a society that is heavily cyberspace/web orientated its more vital to keep teaching and nurturing the potential designers/inventors of the 21st Century

    The skill of making of products through design, construction, and developing machinery have been a result have been part of us since prehistoric humans (caveman times).

    If we didn’t have design technology on the curriculum the likes of Rennie McKintosh, Dyson, William Morris, Seymore and Powell, Antony Gormley.

    DT and Art are the subjects that bridge those students to higher education (college and university) to seek a career in other design related subjects – this can not be eradicated. It would be the same as eradicating math as a subject because we have calculators and online statistical websites that form charts and figures for us.

    I plea that the government reconsider and stop making all these cuts and prevent the country from flourishing in the future of design and productivity. Instead of abolishing subjects why don’t we add new subjects to the Curriculum? Why is that Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg?

  • JOHN RICHARD BRADSHAW November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I am compelled to write to you, as I for one can not believe what I am reading and seeing on the news, I strongly disagree with the idiosyncratic decision of scraping the D&T education, this is absurd.

    D&T. this subject entails so much from learning ICT, Maths, Creativity, Imagination, culture, being up to date with the current fast paced cyber world we live in, using the latest software used in industrial. We have to conscious enough to now nowadays, any job expects one to know and be highly competent with computers as well as be creative and take initiative which some times means being creative and thinking out of the box, these are only a small number of qualities and knowledge that the subject enables students to have, which ultimately are long life skills for the real world.

    I would of hoped for more from being a federated government as so is D&T and Art, as they go hand in hand, expectations from the government more resources for high technology equipment, teachers, tutors, courses, it is no wonder why east Asia have such competency power in the creativity and entrepreneur experience with technology and design as they are dominating the industry of technology design. Hence the grand factor for being an effective profitable country as they are evidently demonstrating to be, however the U.K, England, london with such heritage of museum, galleries and so much to give with Design, this will be taken away from students. I one see this to be a potential disaster in the long term, ok for the short term you’ll save some pennies, however this is going to harmful and potential danger in many elements for society and more.

    I frankly would have to agree with so many practitioners through out many industries of all practice, I just do not see the logic in removing such an influential subject off of the curriculum. The subject has always stimulated and brought thousands of people’s creativity to light including the well acclaimed Seymour Powell Paul Smith, Terence Conran and many more. Even more so now, in a society that is heavily cyberspace/web orientated its more vital to keep teaching and nurturing the potential designers/inventors of the 21st Century

    The skill of making of products through design, construction, and developing machinery have been a result have been part of us since prehistoric humans (caveman times).

    If we didn’t have design technology on the curriculum the likes of Rennie McKintosh, Dyson, William Morris, Seymore and Powell, Antony Gormley.

    DT and Art are the subjects that bridge those students to higher education (college and university) to seek a career in other design related subjects – this can not be eradicated. It would be the same as eradicating math as a subject because we have calculators and online statistical websites that form charts and figures for us.

    I plea that the government reconsider and stop making all these cuts and prevent the country from flourishing in the future of design and productivity. Instead of abolishing subjects why don’t we add new subjects to the Curriculum? Why is that Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg? Or just leave this subject as it is D&T however change the curriculum slightly for it to become more up to date with the fast pace of the cyber world and increase business and highly competent investments to England.

    Think! Out of the box! Be creative! This is what you need to do please.

    As we all know taking away is always a mathematical equational aspect where you are not gaining anything just taking more away means less, less for the people and the country.

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