‘What’s your best subject?’

That’s what we always ask children. But it’s the wrong question. One of the most important things that school-leavers need to have is a clear sense of where their particular strengths lie so that they can be as competitive as possible in the employment market and thereby make the maximum contribution to the economy, and/or to society. Now although I’m sure that some children leave with a sense of where they are going, I suspect most only have a vague idea – ‘I was always good at History’, ‘I got an A* in Science’ on their own are of limited value. What they really need to be aware of are things like ‘I have excellent communication skills’, ‘I’m good at team-work’, ‘My strength is in finding things out’, ‘I’m a patient and persistent sort of person’, etc.

In our university-entry, subject-led curriculum  our schools are being diverted from what’s really important.