The boss of John Lewis has announced the firm is having to give basic literacy and numeracy classes to young staff because they’ve been failed by the education system.
In a stinging critique of the UK’s education set-up, Dame Sharon White said some of the 16-year-olds it hired didn’t have functional literacy and numeracy skills.
She also warned that children who are less academically inclined are not always able to reach their full potential.
Dame Sharon White said that to have done ten years, 11, 12 years of education, and not having, in many instances, functional literacy, certainly, pretty typically not having functional numeracy exceeding the age of, say, ten, 11, means that they may then have wonderful people skills and fabulous skills in terms of operating in a team but that’s almost without the education system.
Dame Sharon White, a former Ofcom chief who’s been the chair of the John Lewis Partnership since July 2019, made the remarks while talking to the Times Education Commission.
The commission is examining the future of education in light of the COVID 19 crisis.
It will also look at the deterioration in social mobility, as well as how technology can further improve education for children in the United Kingdom.
Former Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair, as well as children’s laureate, Cressida Cowell, and director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris, are amongst those giving evidence to the committee.
The year-long commission is set to produce the final report in June 2022.
In the meantime, the exam board, Pearson, is currently operating consultation on the exam system.
Called The Future of Assessment, it’s exploring what format qualifications between the ages of 16 and 18 might take in the future, and how effective the system is at supporting young people.
Recent research from the consultation found four out of five employers in the United Kingdom that said qualifications didn’t give young people the skills they required for employment.
Rod Bristow, president of Pearson UK, called for employers to be more involved in education policy.
He told a newspaper outlet that it wasn’t necessarily about creating another exam to test as to whether they had the skills, but it was necessary they knew they had the experience where learning could occur.
Dame Sharon’s comments came after it was announced earlier in the month that John Lewis’s 5,000 office-based staff would work from home three days a week.
The old school system didn’t appear to work either because children that were a little slower than others got left by the wayside. After all, teachers were more interested in those that excelled in their studies, than those that didn’t because it was just less effort to teach them.
After Margaret Thatcher revolutionised the education policy, businesses helped to develop the curriculum to prepare teenagers for work, but that was then all changed, and now they’re all thoroughly brainwashed into wokery and gender equality matters – who needs reading, writing and arithmetic when you have all that?
Standards, morals and discipline have all gradually diminished over the preceding 70 years or so, and the root cause of this is multiculturalism and it starts with the education of our children in school.
Our education system has gradually been degraded over the last seven decades. Adjusting and weakening our national curricula and dumbing down to suit the needs of the lowest common denominators in our society.
It’s time to improve our Great British education system and to treat these kids how they should be treated and to educate them properly, giving complete power back to the teachers and schoolmasters to act with impunity.