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Aspects of a curriculum overhaul

Understanding debt, mortgages and so on has been a part of enterprise education, which has been around for some 20 years but became a requirement for all pupils in key stage 4 in September 2005. There has also been a requirement in recent years for schools to provide an awareness of work readiness the main qualities and attitudes needed for the workplace. These elements have now been combined under the term "economic well-being". But there are still key issues to be addressed. In many schools, these areas are regarded as less important than "academic" subjects. There is little point in pupils gaining paper qualifications if they cannot secure employment later. Teachers often lack confidence in these areas, many of which need specific knowledge and teaching skills. The scope of KS4 work has been laid down, but there is no similar provision for 16 to 18-year-olds, the ones closer to mortgages and the start of their working lives. Finally, there is not enough funding. Schools receive about pound;17 a year per pupil for this work. Until this is addressed, employers will continue to complain of poor attitudes and lack of work-readiness among young people.;News John Botten

Education business consultant,

Solihull

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