Download the April Policy brief
This month’s briefing raises concerns about DCMS proposals to remove craft from its classification of the creative industries. It also highlights the new Techbacc proposals and our response to the National Curriculum draft programmes of study for art and design and design and technology.
DCMS classification review
The Crafts Council will be formally responding to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consultation ‘Classifying and measuring the creative industries’ which proposes ‘Crafts’ is removed from the categories. The consultation on a revised classification of the creative industries will close on 14 June.
Owing to the difficulty in capturing an accurate picture of the craft sector through the methods of data collection and classification proposed by DCMS – ‘Crafts’ has been removed as a category.
The Crafts Council’s own research Craft in an Age of Change shows that the estimated craft-related income for contemporary craft-making businesses in 2011 was £457m (larger than spending on music downloads and only slightly smaller than London West End theatres) with a GVA of £220m. Of the estimated 23,000 businesses, 88% are sole-traders, a number of whom will be under the VAT threshold and thus invisible in the methodology DCMS use to count the creative industries.
The remainder are discounted through other quirks of the international approaches to counting industry categorisation. Goldsmiths, jewellers, glass-makers, pattern-cutters, fashion designers and others are now loosely grouped together in, for example, ‘other’ or ‘manufacturing’ classifications which remain outside the creative industries data.
The Crafts Council has been involved in direct talks with DCMS in recent months and we continue to discuss this specific point with them. We are disappointed that our views have not been taken on board to date but we will continue to work constructively with them while seeking to change their views.
If you have any feedback on this consultation then please email email@example.com by 1 June and we will reflect positions in our response where they are broadly shared.
Maria Miller speech
The Secretary of State made a speech setting out the case for the economic argument for the arts.
Techbacc – Government announcement
The government has announced plans to raise the status of vocational courses in sixth forms and colleges in England. The “technical baccalaureate”, launched jointly by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock and Education Secretary Michael Gove, is intended to reinforce the value of technical and vocational training and qualifications taken by 16 to 19-year-olds.The new performance measure, to be introduced in 2017, will show young people’s abilities in maths, literacy and a high level vocational qualification for schools and students to demonstrate credible skill to employers.
The TechBacc is one of the final stages in the Government’s implementation of Professor Alison Wolf’s review of vocational education.
Draft National Curriculum Programmes of Study – Art and Design; Design and Technology
The Crafts Council has submitted a response to the proposals for the Draft National Curriculum Programmes of Study which were published on 7 February 2013.
We have a number of concerns about the draft programmes of study, both of which appear to lack a full understanding of the disciplines or the range of processes, techniques and technologies required to develop pupils’ own ideas and critical thinking in art, craft and design. We have also strongly urged the Government to revise the title to be the Art, Craft and Design programme of study, reflecting the full contribution that craft makes to this programme.
Our response is informed by our research evidence that has shown that learning craft skills has a range of educational benefits: it provides children with a firmer grasp of the 3D world and material skills, fosters creative thinking and innovative learning and the development of skills which aid cognitive development.
Manifesto for the creative economy
NESTA has launched a 10 point plan to bolster the case for the creative economy as one of the UK’s fastest growing economies, but one in which some businesses have still struggled to compete.
Fit for purpose: Can the A Level Art and Design be improved?
University of the Arts, London, has published a report about how to make the routes from A-level art and design to university and careers more explicit. The study looks at how the qualification is viewed by students and teachers in schools, colleges and universities and shows that they perceive the opportunity to experience a range of disciplines to be the most valuable outcome of studying the Art and Design A-level .
Crafts Council activity
The Crafts Council is a member of a number of groups and networks with a policy focus. Meetings this month included Policy Connect’s Skills Commission, Cultural Learning Alliance, Associate Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group, What Next? group and Baccforthefuture. We also attended the CHEAD (Council for Higher Education in Art and Design annual conference).
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