The Design Council is urging design graduates to take work placements in schools (DW 17 May). What effect do you think this might have on promoting design, addressing the problem of falling teacher numbers or reducing the number of unemployed design graduates?

‘Design students have a huge amount to offer any organisation, including schools. But the students must be aware of the “transferable skills” learned in design training. It could lead to designers creating systems, organisations, even ideologies, rather than ever more mobile phones, packs that wind up in the bin, and cappuccino bars – designers are already quite good at that.’

Sean Blair, Director, Nowhere Group

‘People should teach because they want to, not because there is nothing in their chosen profession for them to do. Teaching is also a profession that needs specialised training, and although a placement might be interesting and exciting, it will not establish the skills or dedication that are necessary to become a good teacher.’

Dick Petersen, Programme Leader, Design Management, The Surrey Institute of Art & Design

‘I have benefited from the hands-on experience passed on to me by my tutors, who are all working professionals. I was also inspired by their knowledge and experience.’

Danje Dinslage, student, American intercontinental University, London

‘Superficially, this initiative sounds seductive, at last a move to try and ameliorate this problem. But when you deconstruct the scheme you are left with three concerns: Do these students have the skills needed to teach? With little experience of the design industry, what can they bring to the placement? What are they meant to teach? I doubt whether the students will be inspired to teach or the pupils will engage with design in a valuable way.’

Sue Hewer, Head of Design, Royal Society of Arts

‘This sounds like yet another well meaning, but poorly thought out initiative. Surely it requires dedication and training to be an effective and inspirational teacher. Teaching will not be a priority for the best students, and if you treat the rest like surrogates it diminishes teaching, design and graduates, while patronising schoolchildren.’

Rodney Fitch, Chairman, Rodney Fitch & Co and deputy chairman of the London Institute

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