Furniture Makers’ Company launches school initiative

The Furniture Makers’ Company has launched a new initiative that will see support offered to schools that teach design and technology.

It has been launched in response to research that shows the number of schools able to teach design and technology is dropping because of funding issues.

The new scheme is being piloted at John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe.

The collaboration aims to demonstrate to students the importance of design, manufacturing and the many aspects of the furniture and furnishing industry and promote the available pathways into the sector.

Charles Vernon, education chairman at The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “The teaching of design and technology at GCSE is critical to the long-term prosperity of the UK furnishing industry, which produces more than £11 billion of product per year and employs 327,000 people across 50,000 registered companies in the wider furniture and furnishings sector, including specialist retail, but excluding general retail.

“The Government’s focus on growing the economy and raising productivity by increasing the number of people studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has meant a reduction in funding for the arts. As a result, the number of schools able to offer design and technology is dropping at an alarming rate.

This new initiative will see the company support selected schools that teach design and technology by providing financial aid, the opportunity to build links with industry, offer factory tours and work experience, and the option to participate in our annual Young Furniture Makers exhibition.

“We are delighted to be piloting this scheme with John Hampden and look forward to working with the school to nurture the talent of its students. We hope to roll out the initiative to a number of schools around the country in regions that have strong links with industry.”

Tracey Hartley, head teacher at John Hampden Grammar School, said: “We are tremendously excited to work in partnership with The Furniture Makers’ Company. John Hampden began its life as a school passing on High Wycombe’s traditional crafts of cabinetmaking, carving and polishing. This partnership brings that proud history right up to date. Modernised facilities for Design and Technology will enable our boys to develop the pioneering skills needed in today’s manufacturing. We also look forward to sharing these benefits by hosting workshops for other local schools.”

  • Pictured L to R: student Maciej Dynos, headteacher Tracey Hartley, Master Dr Tony Smart, Mayor of High Wycombe Cllr. Brian Pearce, education chairman at The Furniture Makers’ Company Charles Vernon
Home > News > Furniture Makers’ Company launches school initiative