Money Talk presenter Simon Webster would argue that the ultimate purpose of education is to prepare our children for the world of work. Only a few can leave school to work in PR, in media, or “coding” electronic games. Some will actually have to work in offices or on building sites. Schools need to teach skills applicable to these careers – but most don’t – and all school leavers will need to balance their personal budgets, save to buy a house and plan for retirement. Yet these vital life skills seldom appear on the school curriculum.
The state of the English education system has long been the subject of debate at the school gate and elsewhere. Successive governments have launched multiple initiatives aimed at raising standards but while at the top end we continue to turn out some of the brightest and the best, the attainment of many of our school-leavers remains doggedly sub optimum. Then there is the question of what we teach our children. Simon has seen a law graduate attempting to add up figures in a spreadsheet using a calculator. The government seems keen to teach kids coding, but not so keen to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of spelling, letter presentation and use of basic office tools such as MS Word and Excel or matters financial.