Interesting movements afoot as the Design world starts to resist the dangers of the Coalition’s changes to the education system.
For the first time in a long time, and after a shameful silence of the tripling of tuition fees and 100% funding cut to design education in higher education. The design industry has come together and sent an open letter to Michael Gove, warning him that his intention to omit design related subjects from the English Baccalaureate would impact on Britain’s future prosperity.
Stella McCartney, Sir Jonathan Ive, Olympic Torch designers Edward Barber RDI and Jay Osgerby RDI, Sir Terence Conran, the Design Council, D&AD and many of the UK’s leading design agencies argue that omitting Design & Technology and Art & Design from the English Baccalaureate will damage the future prosperity of the UK’s industry and the wider creative economy. Today sees the launch of the ‘Include Design’ campaign, part of the ‘Bacc for the Future’ campaign, and signatories believe that the omission will fail to provide students with the skills that UK employers need- which they argue will have a catastrophic impact on the UK’s economy.
Education secretary Michael Gove has recently revealed a proposal to replace the GCSE exam with an English Baccalaureate. The proposal initially intends to focus studies towards three core subject areas – English, Maths and Science – with History, Geography and languages added at a later stage. Not all subjects will be included- with art and design, for example, left out.
Signatories of the ‘Include Design’ campaign urge Michael Gove to reconsider the EBacc in it’s proposed form, arguing that the UK creative industries are the envy of the world and set the bar in excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship. The UK’s design industry is the largest in Europe and one of the strongest globally – NESTA estimates £23bn is spent on design, while Imperial College put the figure at £33.5bn in 2011. Design Council research demonstrates that despite the recession the industry grew by 29 per cent between 2005 and 2010.
‘Include Design’ urges Michael Gove to rethink the Government’s proposal to exclude design and the arts, and to add a sixth pillar option for these subjects into the EBacc.