The Telegraph is reporting claims from Sir Anthony Seldon that independent school pupils are “dominant across society” not because of their academic achievements but because of their “grounding in soft skills”.
In a speech at a schools conference [today], the former Master of Wellington College will argue that independent schools are “taking the lead” in preparing students for the jobs required for the 21st century…
Speaking at the Tatler Schools Live! conference on Friday, Sir Anthony will say that the state sector has “much to learn from the success of the British independent school model.”
“Twenty-first century employers need much more than the skills developed in exams: they also need what are patronisingly called “soft” skills,” he will say. “These are skills of creativity, teamwork, empathy, grit, resilience and honesty.
“The remorseless drive in state schools for exam success is no longer fit for purpose. Students certainly need to be skilful at maths, science, languages and humanities. But they also need those skills that computers cannot replicate.”
His comments follow findings published by education charities the Sutton Trust and upReach, which revealed that three-and-a-half years after leaving university, those who went to a fee-paying school take home almost £4,500 more.
Researchers put the difference down, in part, to soft skills, like articulacy and assertiveness, saying that privately-educated graduates “blagged” their way to high salaries…
Do you agree with Sir Anthony that private school pupils have an edge over their state school counterparts because the independent sector is leading the way when it comes to teaching “soft” skills?
If so what can/should the state sector do to catch up? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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