Another week, another initiative from the Government machine. Today we are told that schools need to instil “Grit and Character” into pupils. To be fair, Tristram Hunt and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility acknowledge that private schools do this well. Perhaps they ought to find out how we go about it?
In July 2013 there were only 19 female elected presidents and prime ministers in power around the globe. In the business world, women currently hold 19% of FTSE 100 director positions and the Government’s target is to reach approximately 24% by the end of next year. Schools are in the business of educating – but part of this is the necessity to prepare our young women for a realistic chance of success and equip them with the skills and confidence they need to realise their potential.
I love the Winter Olympics. The speed of the downhill, the endurance of the cross country racers and the sheer drama of the slope-style competitions completely eclipse anything the summer version can offer. Jenny Jones, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Matthias Mayer are my Olympic stars. Alongside their skill and bravery their cheerful encouragement of their rivals embodies the spirit of the Olympics so much more than the extreme stars of track and field.
‘Longer school days, shorter holidays and 45-hour weeks could be the perfect manifesto to win the Tories the next election' (Independent, 30.1.14) Former policy advisor Paul Kirby proposes an extreme version of the extended school day as a simple vote winner for the Tories.
As employment becomes an ever greater priority we need to ask “What will best equip our pupils to enter the labour market?”
It strikes me that schools are faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, Michael Gove is dragging education towards the grammar school model that he benefitted from; meanwhile parents, pupils and industry are demanding better preparation for the workplace.