Pass Notes: There’s no business like…


In this post All Change Please! turns its attention to another important school subject to see how it fares in the proposed new draft National Curriculum.

Ah, finally – Business and Economics. That’s one of the most popular subjects students study at university isn’t it?

Yes, by quite a big margin – nearly twice as many as History.

And absolutely vital to the nation’s future growth and prosperity. So I suppose you”ll be telling me that the DfE has included some daft content inappropriately placed in the wrong key stages and written in a way that relates more to business practices of the 1950’s?

Errr, no I won’t be actually.

You mean they’ve managed to get this one right? That’s a turn up for the textbooks.

Well, no, not really. You see, Business and Economics is not part of the National Curriculum at all.

What? So let’s get this straight. Business and Economics is the most popular university subject, and the basis of the future economic success of the country, and we don’t teach our children anything about it at all while at school?

Yes, you’ve got it one.

Ah, well, I suppose it could be argued that we have such well organised management systems and a highly motivated workforce that the basic principles do not really needed to be introduced in schools.

Well you could argue that but in most cases you’d be wrong. Just the other day I heard about someone who works for a leading UK global company. He’s very good at bringing in new clients, but the problem is that this means more work for the delivery team, so they’ve just got rid of him. And then I know a manager of a small business who can’t manage to recruit employees with a good work ethic – it seems they just want to do the least they can get away with, without realising that unless they all work together to help build the business and keep it going, they will soon be out of a job. At the same time too many business are running on out-moded management and administrative structures, and are likely to fail in the next five to ten years unless they completely transform their culture. And do you really think the current economy is being well-handled by the government? So there is definitely an absolutely essential need for children to understand how businesses work, how money is made and lost, and that teamwork and collaboration are essential.

So why aren’t business leaders making more of a fuss?

That’s a very good question. At least Sir Richard Branson managed to express his concerns last week and revealed his usual insightful grasp of the situation when he said:  “Some of the things people study at school are not particularly relevant for when they actually leave school.”

Gosh. Next I suppose you’ll be telling me there is no media studies to give children at least some insight into the way in which the information they consume is created, manipulated and distributed, and no engineering on the curriculum either, despite the fact that engineering is one of the priority professions for UK immigration.

Yes, you guessed it!

Talking of which, I hear chicken sexing is another of the priority professions for immigrants. No chance of that being included in the National Curriculum I suppose?

Well, I expect they could probably find some space for it in D&T…

Do say:  Mind your own business.

Don’t say:  Pass the Branson Pickle, would you?

And finally,  if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget that your country needs you to vote for your least favourite subject in the Grand National Curriculum Consultation competition. The bookies have History as odds on to win, with D&T coming up quickly on the rails. Let’s just hope that Secretary of State ridden by Michael Gove out of Government falls at the first and has to be inhumanely put down. Talking of whom, if you’ve not seen it yet, this is worth a watch…


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