In their own words
Children hope for great things for the future. And yet, their schooling teaches them to think in terms of jobs. This, in their experience, is what schools are about. The connection between schools and employment is understood from their first days.
"You can get most things right so you can get a job. Like a sweet shop.
Just a normal job. But it's getting hard. If you are just going into your job and you think it's so easy but it isn't 'cos you started it easy but if you carry on it's getting harder and harder and harder."
"I want to get a real good job that you can get lots of money for. So I can stash some money somewhere if I ever need it for emergencies. If you're not good and things in school then you won't be able to get a place in university."
"When you're older you need to learn things to get jobs. When you're older you want to thank the school. And things like that. I would like to be a hairdresser. Because I like the feel of cutting off hair."
The problem is that the sense of realism, the insight into what jobs are for, leads to all kinds of anticipatory interpretations.
"Taxi thing or something... or a cash-till man, like shopkeepers. Sometimes you can like sometimes steal the money, not steal but take some and put it in your pocket."
"I'd like to be a teacher. I don't think I'll be able to be a proper teacher, like, like lots of teachers in this school like shouting. I couldn't do that."
The children, whose names have been changed, were speaking to Cedric Cullingford, professor of education at Huddersfield university