Business West says employability must be at the heart of schools debate

By Anita Jaynes on 3 February, 2014

In a speech today Michael Gove, Education Secretary said state schools should become more like private schools.

This could see state schools adopting the private school entrance exams and staying open for longer.

Gove said state schools need to work harder, so that they become indistinguishable from private schools. He said he wanted schools to be able to stay open longer for nine or 10 hour days. This would allow more time for after-school activities or to provide a place for children to do their homework.

A call for schools to look further afield than their local competition was also suggested, comparing schools performance with their international counterparts.

Commenting on  the speech, Phil Smith, Managing Director at Business West, said:

“Raising standards in state schools is something businesses across England will cheer. Ultimately, however, higher standards must translate into higher employability for pupils. Unless students are seen as more prepared for the workplace, ready to be trained and developed by future employers, this government’s education reform agenda could suffer the same fate as its predecessors’.

“Michael Gove is right to set the bar high for England’s state schools. But university admissions alone must not be the measure of success. Alongside strong elite education, we also need to celebrate when schools successfully move students into excellent vocational education, apprenticeships, and the world of work.

“For that reason, whoever chairs Ofsted must place employability alongside academic achievement at the heart of the school assessment system.”