A new survey conducted for the 31st edition of New Designers has highlighted the importance of design subjects at school.

The survey revealed that 85% of this year’s New Designers (which starts tomorrow) studied an art or design subject at GCSE.

Almost half (49%) of these graduates said they would not be pursuing a career in the creative industries if they had not studied an arts or design subject at GCSE level. A strong 98% said they feel that studying a creative subject has equipped them with transferable skills to work in closely related sectors.


In addition, 21% said visiting exhibitions and museums was their biggest influence on their decision to pursue a career in the creative industries

These results come on the eve of a Parliamentary debate about the exclusion of creative subjects from the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which has been tabled for Monday July 4.

Ahead of the parliamentary debate, New Designers will be holding a meeting with tutors and industry professionals to discuss ‘The EBacc and the future of Design Education’, which will be chaired by Deborah Annetts – coordinator of the Bacc for the Future Campaign and chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

Director of New Designers, Isobel Dennis, comments: “The UK has for decades been a global leader in its art and design education and it is this incredible system that contributes to our Creative Industries which currently represents an impressive £84.1bn to our economy.

“We are a creative nation, so for the Government to actively communicate that creative subjects are not a credible part of the EBacc system would appear very ill-thought through and potentially damaging for our future economy. It is vital for successful businesses to engage with the design thinking, problem-solving, creativity and innovation that these young graduates possess to keep them competitive and leaders within their field.”