The Times is reporting the head of the CBI as saying Michael Gove’s school reforms risk squeezing out a rounded education by focusing too much on exam results…
John Cridland told The Times that many schools produced pupils who were “exam robots” with little to encourage heads to offer broad extra-curricular opportunities.
Business leaders wanted more focus from schools on creativity, curiosity, tenacity, self-confidence and good manners, as well as high academic standards, he said.
He criticised the Government’s changes to post-16 vocational qualifications as “a fog” and said he was confused by the plans.
Mr Cridland welcomed the thrust of Mr Gove’s reforms to GCSEs and A levels, which seek to add tougher content and more stretching end-of-course exams.
However, he said they failed to connect to broader “rounded and grounded” qualities sought by businesses in young people. They wanted more emphasis on character-building to foster qualities such as determination, optimism and emotional intelligence.
By focusing too much on academic results, the Department for Education (DfE) risked shifting focus and resources within schools away from sport, performing arts, trips and clubs, he said.
“It has got more difficult for schools. I think what he has done is necessary but not sufficient,” Mr Cridland said. “He should talk about rigour and we should be more rigorous and he has my vote to do that. If all you do is talk about rigour then the rounded and grounded-ness gets squeezed out.”
…Mr Cridland also criticised the Government for removing a requirement on schools to offer work experience for pupils at 15 or 16 and for making schools responsible for career guidance without extra funds or support to do it well…
Your thoughts on John Cridland’s concerns? Is it realistic to achieve the increased rigour he supports plus all the other qualities such as confidence, creativity and manners? Please share in the comments or on twitter…