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National petition to protect creative subjects in education

By Mark Hayhurst 10 Feb 2017

A group of leading UK textile artists, designers and craftspeople has launched a national petition calling on Education Secretary Justine Greening to protect creative subjects in education.

A group of leading UK textile artists, designers and craftspeople has launched a national petition calling on Education Secretary Justine Greening to protect creative subjects in education.

The UK has a world-leading reputation for creativity.

The creative industries contribute £84.1 billion to the UK economy and employ 1.8 billion people.

However, the group says creative subjects are at risk of relegation from the national curriculum, with the loss of future generations of design talent a real threat.

The petition aims to achieve 100,000 signatures on change.org to ensure the Education Secretary is forced to address questions on the issue.

The campaign is employing suitably creative methods to bring its message to life.

Supporters are asked to create a stitched signature which will form part of a unique cloth petition that will travel to the UK’s biggest textile art, craft and design events - The Knitting & Stitching Shows and The Festival of Quilts - throughout 2017, before being presented to the Education Secretary.

Stitched signatures can be made at or brought along to The Knitting & Stitching Shows and The Festival of Quilts during 2017, or sent to the campaign’s headquarters at The Campaign for Creativity, Twistedthread, 58 White Lion Street, London N1 9PP.

Among campaign supporters are Artistic Director of The Embroiderers’ Guild Anthea Godfrey, the Royal School of Needlework, Contemporary Craft Curator Liz Cooper, TV presenter and writer Wendy Gardiner and acclaimed textile artists including Helen McAllister, Haf Stephens, Anne Kelly and Bobby Britnell.

Helen McAllister, head of applied material cultures at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin said: “Understanding that we learn through our senses is so vital. We seem to be shifting to learning through text and 2D screens, losing sight of how we need to understand the world around us by touch.”

Anthea Godfrey, artistic director of The Embroiderers’ Guild, said: “Creativity is vital to child development, not only as a means of expression and communication but to support life skills such as problem-solving, strategic thinking and resilience.

“Creative thinkers hold the key to the UK’s future success, not just in culture and the arts but across business and industry too. We must do all we can to ensure creative subjects are not sidelined in the education system.”

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