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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