Design Council’s teaching scheme is a worthwhile graduate opportunity

I fear you have missed the point of our Teacher Associate Programme (DW 17 May) and that subsequent criticisms are based on a number of misunderstandings.

We are definitely not trying to “discourage” students from entering the design profession. Rather, we are facing up to the reality that three out of five art and design graduates end up in other industries. If some of those graduates are redirected to help fill an urgent skills gap in design and technology teaching, surely that is a worthwhile use of their talents.

Concerns that there would be “no room” for school placements in courses are unfounded. Under the scheme, time spent in schools will count as an industrial placement, causing little disruption.

Obviously, professional teaching requires specialist training. Our scheme recognises this – classroom placements will count towards the attainment of a post-graduate teaching qualification, which can, of course, be undertaken at any point in a career.

Meanwhile, the claim that you can’t teach design without industry experience presumably rules out business studies teachers who haven’t run companies and drama teachers who haven’t been actors.

Moira Fraser Steele

Education director

Design Council

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