Is Creative Britain in Reverse?

Is Creative Britain in Reverse?

The Design and Technology Association has released an eight minute video in partnership with SeymourPowell and the James Dyson Foundation, as part of its campaign to raise awareness of the value of design and technology for all pupils within the national curriculum. The film promotes the importance of Design and Technology (D&T) education in Britain's schools and universities, its contribution to successful business, and its fundamental role in supporting the UK Economy.

The video features contributions from Sir Paul Smith, fashion designer; Sir John Rose, former CEO of Rolls-Royce; Sir James Dyson, industrial designer, inventor and founder of Dyson; Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Land Rover; David Kester, Chief Executive, Design Council; Dick Powell, Seymourpowell; Richard Seymour, Seymourpowell; and other leading figures from across business, industry and education.

The film launch followed a special event on the same subject, held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Westminster. On a panel chaired by Design Museum Director Deyan Sudjic, speakers included Dame Ellen MacArthur, Dick Powell (Seymourpowell), Ajaz Ahmed (AKQA), Paul Jackson (Engineering UK) and the inventor and entrepreneur Mandy Haberman.

Key topic areas discussed by the panel at last night's event included the National Curriculum review, currently being undertaken, and its potential impact on D&T teaching - many fear the subject could be threatened with being removed as a compulsory subject for all pupils from age 5 to 14. Another issue raised was the English Baccalaureate, and the view held by many in the creative and manufacturing industries that it's already skewing the curriculum in many schools away from creative and technical subjects towards traditional, academic subjects. Also discussed by the panel was the impact of cuts in higher education for non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects from across the creative sector.

download: Manifesto.pdf (1MB)

"The impact of design education in the UK - from school right through to higher education and beyond - has been immense," commented Dick Powell, co-founder and design director at Seymourpowell. With this campaign we hope to highlight the far-reaching benefits and prosperity delivered to the UK by design education, and raise awareness of the subjects' crucial role in helping maintain Britain's position as an international innovation leader."

"Inventiveness helps the economy. Design and Technology is the only lesson where young people can apply science and maths in a practical way," Sir James Dyson added. "If D&T is sidelined where will the next generation of engineers, designers and inventors get their inspiration from?"