V&A Innovate

May 8, 2019

 Today, I am delighted to announce that the V&A has launched its most ambitious ever schools programme, V&A Innovate. Available to every school in England, the programme has been created to champion Design and Technology (D&T) as an essential curriculum subject and exciting career pathway.

Schools DesignLab 2014 © Victoria and Albert Museum

Design education plays a pivotal role in equipping young people with the skills to grapple with our fast-changing world. Design education unleashes imagination and fosters ingenuity – the twin pillars of the V&A. What would our planet look like if people decided they didn’t want to make things, mend things or invent things? Creativity in all its forms and outcomes is essential – and teaching young people key design- and technology-based skills is more important than ever.

With the recent decline in young people taking up arts subjects as GCSEs, we have developed V&A Innovate to bring the breadth, diversity and relevance of D&T to life in the classroom and unlock the creative potential of the next generation of designers, makers and creatives. V&A Innovate introduces key stage 3 (KS3) students – at a pivotal point in their education – to core design principles used in industry, to support teachers and prepare students for the new D&T GCSE. Designed to be as flexible as possible, V&A Innovate can be delivered over one term, in an after-school club, over a few weeks, or intensively over one day.

Grounded in the V&A’s world-leading collections, exhibition research and cutting-edge industry practice, V&A Innovate has been created with teachers and designers to equip young people at KS3 level with the confidence and skills to develop solutions for real-world issues. The programme includes a professional development programme for teachers; annual awards for schools, teachers and young people, and a flagship conference as a platform for some of today’s most innovative thought-leaders in design education.

V&A Innovate 2019/20 themes are inspired by the V&A’s exhibition programme:

  • GO – How might we give more people the ability to be mobile, and give people and the planet a better chance to breathe? (Cars: Accelerating the Modern World)
  • EAT – How might we ensure that the way we eat is sustainable, and give more people access to affordable and healthy food? (Food: Bigger than the Plate)
  • WEAR – How might we ensure that what we wear is part of building a better world? (Mary Quant)

Our new online resource hub, featuring free, downloadable resources is available to download from today, with toolkits, animated video guides, a series of interviews with contemporary designers and makers on their practice and a range of activities. Please visit and sign up here.

4 comments so far, view or add yours


What an exciting initiative, Helen. It is precisely the type of thinking needed to get our future generation to reflect on solutions to problems our world is currently facing – solutions which will require creativity and thinking outside the box.
Are you planning to offer more of your courses online?

Sounds brilliant, I will forward the link to our DT trainees. It’s such a great subject that is being squeezed off the curriculum & with fewer trainee teachers each year.

This scheme looks brilliant and is much-needed in my view. I’ve suggested it to my son’s school, even though he’s not taking D&T as a GCSE (despite my encouragement). I really look forward to seeing the initial proposals and feedback from students and teachers.

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