Catherine Ritman-Smith

Head of Learning at the Design Museum


Catherine joined the Design Museum in 2009 and is currently Head of Learning.  She oversees the learning programme for schools, colleges, and universities, professional development for teachers, and activities for families, children and young people. Catherine also leads on digital learning and established Design Ventura, the museum’s award-winning enterprise project.  Since 2010 Design Ventura has supported over 47,000 young people to explore the role of contemporary design in our economy by challenging students to design new products the Design Museum shop.  Catherine liaises with key partners including the Design Council, CCSkills, NSEAD and the Design and Technology Association.  She hwasa member of the Education Advisory Board for the Creative Education Trust and is currently a trustee for the London Design and Engineering UTC which is based at the University of East London.

From 2006-9 Catherine was Head of Education at Enterprise UK (EUK), leading a nation-wide campaign of creative enterprise education through initiatives including Global Entrepreneurship Week and Make Your Mark with a Tenner.  At EUK Catherine developed national strategies for enterprise education, working closely with BIS and DfE and partners such as Nesta.  Before this she was Head of Learning at Open-City, a leading architecture charity.  At Open-City, Catherine established a successful year-round programme, providing learning experiences for thousands of children and young people in London’s iconic buildings.

As a freelance policy researcher and education writer, clients have included the British Council, SSAT and LSN.  Catherine has been a fellow of the RSA since 2007.  She was educated in London state schools and at Newnham College, Cambridge.  Catherine completed an MA in the History of Education at the Institute of Education in 2010, looking at the influence of gender, class and race on educational experiences in the twentieth century.

Why Design &Technology is important!

"Design Technology is a rich and diverse subject which encourages problem solving, provides a focussed outlet for creative ideas and offers the opportunity to develop a range of practical skills for making ideas happen.  It provides a critical opportunity to engage young people in issues that relate to the ‘made’ world and its impact on communities, the environment and the economy." - Catherine Ritman-Smith

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