The Design Council aims to boost design education following its restructuring, which included setting up an education and training foundation, by starting two research studies.
One will look at current practice in schools and further and higher education, and will be completed by June. The other will study how design can affect the whole school.
Wendy Powell, director of the foundation, explained that this could take the form of targeting parents who never take part in school events. "What is it about a school that turns them off or makes them want to go in and leaves them feeling good? Design ought to make a contribution to that."
The council has been talking to leading education and business figures focusing on the status of design in the curriculum, how it relates to other subjects, and what underlying values should inform design teaching and learning.
In schools where design had a high profile, teachers said it contributed to the successful running of the school, according to an interim report. The council intends to encourage schools to make a policy statement on design's place in the curriculum.
Design Focus in Schools: interim findings, free from The Design Council, Haymarket House, 1 Oxendon Street, London SW1Y 4EE.