CBI leaders says Ofsted should ensure schools teach team spirit, character and the meaning of work

The Times is reporting an interview with the head of the CBI is which he reinforced themes from a recent report from the organisation suggesting that schools need to teach character to children and be judged on this by Ofsted…

John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, told The Times that schools were too focused on exam results and should teach pupils resilience and how to be “rounded and grounded”.

Any school failing to do this should not be rated outstanding, even if it achieved impressive results, he said.

He blamed the system of assessment, rather than schools themselves, which he said were trying to protect their reputations and league table positions.

Head teachers of schools that taught character to children needed to be rebels within the system, he said.

Mr Cridland also recommended an overhaul of work experience, because some children’s perceptions of working life were based on watching The Office on television, he said. Rather than “all the schools in an area trying to send out the entire year group for the same two weeks in June”, they could instead link with businesses to do virtual tours or half-day visits, he said.

“By character I mean resilience, humility, emotional intelligence, team spirit, someone who will go the extra mile,” he said. “Some young people are surprised by the workplace. This generation is the most streetwise there has ever been . . . so how can they be the least ready for the world of work?

“There’s a disconnect between the workplace and what they think it looks like — it is more informal and a collective team effort than they realise.”

It was not only young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who needed help, he said, but also gifted and talented pupils whose schools had focused on pushing them academically, at the expense of helping them to develop social attributes, he said…

Schools should still focus on academic standards, but reform of Ofsted would push them to develop well-rounded pupils, the report said. “Any school judged as outstanding must be delivering all aspects of a quality education for all young people, not just some of them.”…

More at: Teach team spirit, character and the meaning of work, business urges (subscription required)

See the report from the CBI at: Employers want education system to better prepare young people for life outside school gates – CBI/Pearson survey

Do you think there is merit in getting Ofsted to measure schools on the degree to which they teach character as well as just exam results? Would it be possible? What impact would it have? And what about the suggested changes to work experience – do they make sense? Please share your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. MrJDexter

    SchoolsImprove forget Ofsted they just do checking accountability etc. Ppl who ‘ensure’ are teachers, leaders. heads

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove He’s absolutely right of course, but actually doing it is not that simple I fear, plus schools already do attempt to do this

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The characteristics he mentions are difficult to measure for Ofsted purposes, although judging based on a whim is common

  4. ZCMRock

    MT “SchoolsImprove: CBI leaders says Ofsted should ensure schools teach team spirit, character and the meaning of work” Anything else?

  5. Philip_Britton

    SchoolsImprove whilst curriculum reform pushes content,individual final exams and not skills and collaboration – joined up thinking needed

  6. VictoriaJaquiss

    SchoolsImprove Might do well 2 demo by example. tricky in academies with overpaid h/ts & underpaid staff, with 1 group observing the other.

  7. SchoolsImprove

    andylutwyche I imagine measuring character building would make current issues seem like a walk in the park (or it just becomes a box tick)

  8. SchoolsImprove

    g56g I think his issue is for Ofsted to acknowledge this rather than a focus on exam results – specifically says issue for Ofsted not schls

  9. g56g

    SchoolsImprove Yes but he still thinks schools should be run for the market. He thinks Ofsted should be checking #fitnessforbusiness

  10. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Quite – the point he’s making is a fair one but a potential can of worms regarding Ofsted

  11. berylkingston

    g56g SchoolsImprove Some of these gonks are beginning to suspect that teachers actually encourage children to learn. Can’t have that.

  12. andrew_1910

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Always wondered at disconnect btw CBI views & fact that almost every 16yr old I’ve taught had a PT job.

  13. Allan Hayes

    Of course the entire experience of school should serve this purpose amongst others. But there is a part of the curriculum that could be transformed to everyone’s advantage to recognise its importance: Religious Education should lose its restriction to religion and become Education for Life.

  14. smurfatik

    SchoolsImprove how many physics teachers are thinking “the meaning of work is already on the curriculum”

  15. JoetheBaron

    SchoolsImprove That would be far too demanding and, horror of horrors, might require the application of pupils, even when uninterested

  16. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove CBI says ‘teach team spirit’. Teachers say ‘Play for team, children’. Children play for team. Simple, this education.

  17. ellrhys

    SchoolsImprove and what exactly are parents left to do? Is good re modelling out of vogue? But hard when child in nursery 4 informative yrs

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