Make Your Future


Make Your Future | 10th – 29th July | 10 – 4pm

We are delighted to be hosting Make Your Future a Crafts Council project that aims to reignite a passion for making in schools by creating opportunities for students and teachers to learn new traditional and digital craft skills.

Craft education in schools is in crisis: pressure on school budgets and a devaluation of creative subjects has seen a sharp decrease in the time, space, and resources dedicated to art, craft, and design subjects in school. Student participation in craft GCSEs has fallen by 23% since 2007/08, with the numbers taking Design Technology falling by 41%.

The project is creating networks that bring together Higher Education Institutions, cultural partners, secondary schools, and makers to develop craft learning opportunities. By embracing new craft technologies the project shines a light on craft as a cross-curricular bridge which draws together science, technology, and creative subjects.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the project’s first year, Birmingham schools have worked with Birmingham City University’s world-class School of Jewellery to explore techniques ranging from saw piercing to 3D printing. Yorkshire schools have been paired with Leeds University and Leeds College of Art to explore textiles techniques including peg weaving, hand-dyeing, and screen printing. At Central Saint Martins, West London schools have developed new ceramics techniques ranging from hand-building and glazing to innovative digital processes.

In all regions professional makers have worked alongside teachers to deliver cutting-edge workshops in schools. Makers have carried out audits of school equipment and supported teachers to put under-used resources to work and offer students new experiences of making.

The next two years will see up to 48 new schools in Leeds, London, and Birmingham take part in the project, as well as an additional cluster established. We hope that the networks and resources created through the project will help to re-establish craft and making as an essential part of secondary education in the UK.

With grateful thanks to the Comino Foundation, the Ernest Cook Trust, and The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust for their support of Make Your Future in the West Midlands.


Teacher CPD at Birmingham School of Jewellery
Lisa Bickley, Head of Art at Saltley Academy, Birmingham, 21 March 2017

Lisa_Working_with_Birmingham_School_of_Jewellery_Staff 72


‘At Saltley Academy we’re lucky enough to be taking part in Make Your Future, an initiative aimed at getting schools to incorporate the lost art of crafting back into the curriculum.

With an emphasis on academic subjects and the EBacc, art and craft elements of the curriculum can feel pushed out, if not completely unsupported. We are fortunate that our Headteacher fully supports the arts and understands how integral they are for the development of our students, so has encouraged us to take part in the project.

The sessions have been planned and delivered in twilight hours at the Birmingham City University School of Jewellery. The campus is fully equipped with top-of-the -range machinery, which we were able to take full advantage of.  Ann-Marie Carey and her colleagues at the School have made us feel welcome and taken a lot of time to plan and deliver CPD sessions that are practical and can be brought back into school.

I think I can speak for my colleagues also when I say how enjoyable we have found the whole experience. We have learned so much, developed our knowledge and revisited areas that we haven’t used for such a long time. I’ve been teaching for 14 years and this is the first set of CPD sessions where we have been able to play, experiment and learn practical skills.

It has really inspired us and we are now looking at ways that we can extend this by setting up a small jewellery workshop in school. The links we’ve created with the University are ones that we want to continue to grow and we are confident and excited to share our new skills with our students.’ Lisa Bickley, Head of Art at Saltley Academy, Birmingham, 21 March 2017, Make Your Future blog, Crafts Council.

For more information visit  Make Your Future