The initiative successfully matched 327 designers from across the range of disciplines with English secondary schools in 2004. Feedback from all three years in which the initiative ran has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
'It was great! I've never done anything like it before. The first five minutes were pretty terrifying, but from then on - excellent. I will definitely do it again!' - Andy Stanfield, graphic designer, on working with Stockwell Park School, London.
'The enthusiasm of the pupils re-kindled my love of design and problem solving, which sometimes gets blunted by the day to day routine of running a business' - Alan Zoeftig, furniture designer, on working with Wadebridge School, Cornwall.
Working with a professional designer gives Design & Technology (D&T) teachers and their students a unique opportunity to learn new design techniques and gain an insight into the industry. Design skills are highly transferable and benefit all students, no matter what career paths they choose.
Designers' involvement also helped students develop the design awareness they need to be tomorrow's discriminating consumers and clients, as well as encouraging and inspiring students considering design as a future career. In short - it helped bring this school subject alive.
Since June 2004, the Design Council has suspended the administration of this annual initiative, which had fulfilled its initial brief to run for three successive years.
The Design Council has commissioned an independent consultant to report on the potential future of DiSW. The Design Council will act on the recommendations of this report and will publish the outcome.
Many strong relationships have been built between schools and designers who have been involved in the scheme over its three-year life. Any development of DiSW would necessarily want to build on such relationships, while taking into account the current context of other initiatives that bring together schools and designers, and to ensure that DiSW has the greatest possible chance to make a more developed, more sustained, and broader impact on the role of designing within schools.
This page offers advice to designers who would still like to get involved.
If you wish to return to your partner school, please contact them and let them know.
If you wish to work with a new school, you can search for their contact details at www.schoolsdirectory.com – either by name, postcode or region. Ask to speak to the head of Design & Technology.
If the teacher is unaware of DiSW, it may be a good idea to refer them to this website, particularly to the case studies of projects over the past three years, in order that they can gain an understanding of what is involved.
We would certainly appreciate being kept abreast of any projects that are happening, as it will inform our ability to broker relationships in the future.
Please contact Georgina Jarvis firstname.lastname@example.org with details of which school you plan to visit and a brief outline of your project. Please note that this will be for our records only, as the Design Council is not currently administering the initiative.