Craft lessons “vital” to society and economy, say campaigners

Sir Terence Conran, Kevin McCloud and Grayson Perry are among those backing a call for an overhaul of craft education in the UK.

The Crafts Council is launching an Education Manifesto for Craft and Making, which wants to put craft and making “at the heart” of UK education.

The Crafts Council says that the crafts sector generates £3.4 billion each year for the UK economy and employs 150,000 people.

Despite this, it says student participation in craft-related GCSEs fell by 25 per cent between 2007 and 2012, while in higher education craft courses fell by 46 per cent.

In its manifesto, the Crafts Council is calling for a number of changes to the education system in the UK to support craft in the country.

It wants craft and making to be put “at the heart” of education; more routes created into craft careers; the entrepreneurial attitude of makers brought into education; more investment in craft skills throughout people’s careers and more promotion of research into craft in both the arts and sciences.

Crafts Council executive director Rosy Greenlees told The Times: “Craft subjects have been seen as not leading to employment and that automatically has an impact on higher education, leading to course closures.

“We need to try to get craft back into schools. It’s not just about making things but you need these skills if you’re going to be an architect, engineer or surgeon.”

A letter written to The Times in support of the manifesto has been signed by Conran, McCloud and Perry, as well as Daniel Charny, Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic and Design Council chief executive John Mathers.

The manifesto has been designed by Cog Design with “statements” by Anthony Burrill. You can read the manifesto in full here.

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  • Kate cornish November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I want craft and making to be put “at the heart” of education; more routes created into craft careers; the entrepreneurial attitude of makers brought into education; more investment in craft skills throughout people’s careers and more promotion of research into craft in both the arts and sciences.

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