About the Textiles Skills Academy
The Textiles Skills Academy was founded in January 2015 by Dawn Foxall after many conversations with educationalists, D&T teachers and industry leaders who saw the desperate need to support the teaching of textiles in schools. Much as Jamie Oliver and his campaign to raise awareness in Food education, there is very little being done for textiles in education or seriously making the links between the textiles industry and what is being taught in schools. There is growing urgency for skills in all areas of the industry in the UK and no plan to manage this.
The Academy aims to bring together experienced education presenters and industry experts to deliver relevant events, industrial visits, seminars and practical workshops for Art, Textiles and D&T teachers, to aid the delivery of the curriculum and to raise awareness of the recruitment issues of the industry.
Events are delivered by skilled teachers, trainers and industry practitioners to give an opportunity to develop classroom resources, update on the curriculum and industry practices, improve on existing skills, learn new skills and network with fellow teachers.
The Textiles Skills Academy is now lead by Dawn Foxall and Heidi Ambrose-Brown both with many years of industry and education experience behind them.
Dawn has 30 years’ experience in the textiles and garment industry as design consultant; presenter and resources developer for Schools for EMTEX; has worked as Fashion lecturer and programme developer at various UK universities and FE colleges; course presenter for The Design and Technology Association, Key Stage Developments(KSD), SFE and other course providers.
Dawn is a co-founder of Liv.co.uk the online ethical department store, where she manages design, buying and sourcing for the Liv brand, working with Fairtrade and organic factories in India and Egypt and sourcing ethical and British made products and brands.
Heidi worked in the textiles and fashion retail industry before training as a D&T teacher. She has taught across all specialisms at KS3 and Textiles at KS4 & 5, including BTEC Art & Design: Textiles, and also on Embroidery City & Guilds courses. For the past 10 years, Heidi has worked as an independent D&T Textiles consultant running courses for teachers predominantly in the areas of CAD/CAM and e-textiles as well as an examiner for AQA. She works with teachers, trainees and students to deliver projects that use modern technology together with a range of textiles techniques and processes to produce colourful projects that students find relevant and achievable. She has worked closely with education suppliers to develop their equipment ranges and resources and also writes for the Design and Technology Association.
Commercially, Heidi provides print and embroidery services to the business sector.