CREATE Education were privileged to be part of the parliamentary reception held by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation (APDIG) and the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design (CHEAD) in the Jubilee room in Westminster Hall.
The event was held to explore current and future issues in the creative education environment and to discuss the impact of recent events including the General Election on art, media and design teaching and research, as well as the wider sustainability of the sector.

Speakers from Government, Higher Education and Industry explored current opportunities for the sector with the aim of raising awareness amongst senior policy makers about the likely impact of Government policy on the education and skills ecosystem for creative education, and the wider value to the economy and society.
Here’s a roundup of the key comments and takeaways from the event:

Opening speaker, Professor Anita Taylor – Chair of CHEAD and Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at University of Dundee opened the event by stating that creative graduates are generating £13 million per hour according to Government statistics.  This is to be celebrated, but Anita stated that we now need to champion the next generation and discussed the need for creative and culture and interdisciplinary collaboration.
She discussed the importance of thinking through making and value beyond heavy economics -adding value through soft power enterprise.

Keith Brennan MP – Shadow Minister for Arts and Heritage, DCMS Select Committee, a former economics teacher himself, stated ‘I know the value of the creative industries, we need to value creative education.’
He spoke about the need to embrace creativity in the classroom, citing the precarious decline in music and art education in primary and secondary schools and shared plans to influence government with need for creative innovation, not just through development of a cross-sector curriculum, but also in the desire to engage research, teaching and policy in equitable way.
Also stating, ‘No school should achieve an Outstanding from Ofsted without creativity provision.’

Paul Croft, founder of CREATE Education represented industry at the event. Presenting an industry perspective, speaking about the huge value of engaging students with technology and art, and the value and impact that this has on industry and in turn the economy.
He discussed the very real need to equip and empower students to engage with STEAM technologies across all curriculum subjects to develop needed skills for the future and to enable them to access new career opportunities available to them within the creative industries and Industry 4.0 environments.

Professor Vicky Gunn – Head of Learning and Teaching at The Glasgow School of Art, spoke about how arts and creative education thrive through collaboration and continued advocacy but that the focus tends to be on design thinking whilst avoiding the expensive but essential component of making.
She put forward the need and requirement for policy makers to step out of their particular areas and work across boundaries and spoke of a need for Creative Arts HE leaders to come to terms with the impact of what they do in their programmes in terms of metrics to capture value judgement across the cultural and creativity ecology.

To conclude,
‘Man cannot live by STEM alone. The natural sciences and the creative industries are never in competition with one another, but it is wrong for policymakers to ignore one in favour of the other.
We will fail the next generation if we don’t ensure that all schools support the arts effectively. Pupil, people and society cannot live by STEM alone. Let’s hear it for STEAM.’ Keith Brennan MP – Shadow Minister for Arts and Heritage
The creative sector is growing five times faster than the economy as a whole, and is a true British success story, we look forward to seeing the action taken to ensure that the issues addressed are acted on and that creative education thrives for the next and future generations.

If you’d like to find out how you can engage your students with 3d printing and STEAM technologies please contact the CREATE Education team on 01257 276 116. To collaborate and engage with the CREATE Education community, please contact Nicola Shaw at

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