Today’s poll: Should state schools be able to spend more time teaching “soft” skills?

Sir Anthony Seldon has suggested public school students get an edge not from their grades but the “soft” skills they are taught (which he defines as creativity, teamwork, empathy, grit, resilience and honesty) and believes state schools are hampered by the requirements of an overly narrow focus on exam results: fair point?


Should state schools be able to spend more time teaching “soft” skills?


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Categories: Policy, Poll, Private Schools and Teaching.


  1. neil_play

    SchoolsImprove If schools made full use of the 20% of each day that is playtime this would not be an issue. Children develop by playing

  2. signifyingO

    SchoolsImprove Like the soft skills of discussion, debate, presenting to a group? Shame Gove took it out of counting towards GCSE English.

  3. BehaviourA

    Focus on exam results at the expense of everything else is causing so much damage – to mental health/ self esteem etc and is totally counter productive. Need much more focus on aptitude, motivation and preparation for life. University isn’t for everyone, but many school treat anyone not aspiring to this as a failure or disappointment. 
    Every society needs its worker bees, can’t all be above average or superstars. Being the best we can be, useful, making a contribution, helping others all better aspirations than ‘winning at all costs’, ‘reaching for the stars’ etc. Aspiration culture part of the problem.

  4. BehaviourA

    PS and re independent schools – ‘who you know’ gets a helpful leg up more often than ‘what you know’!

  5. ChouetteWirral

    SchoolsImprove Surely those skills are taught through good practise? Good teaching should not require extra, soft skill specific time.

  6. beyondbehaviour

    SchoolsImprove The true watershed moment will come when the term ‘soft skills’ is dropped altogether

Let us know what you think...