From the Forums

Tes Editorial

Lord Sugar's bid to get kids out to work at 13

The Apprentice boss criticised parents for bringing up children with unrealistic ideas about instant wealth and not encouraging them to earn and save.

In nearly 20 years, I can count on one hand the number of kids I've met who thought they were going to become entertainers or footballers, and in every case they had pretty good reason to think they might have a chance. It's a poverty of aspiration that afflicts the country, not this ***'s idea that all kids think becoming Mark Zuckerberg is easy.


He'd have more of a point if he wasn't running a show that feeds into the celebrity culture by encouraging young people to fantasise - the current trailer is a wonderful (!) example: "I am a shark; I am top of the food chain."


I left school and started work at 14... We were regarded as the "scum of the earth" or "hewers of wood and drawers of water" by the nicer teachers in my day, but nobody thought us worth teaching, so they didn't bother.


I haven't taught any students who honestly thought they were going to be an entertainer or an actor but I have taught far too many who have no aspirations other than a vague notion of money coming to them magically. I have also taught lots of students whose stated aspiration was to go on the dole the same as their parents.


I had a job from the age of 13 and worked all the way through uni too. I don't think there's anything wrong with children learning that luxury items cost money and if you want them you have to work for them... However, we need to ensure that children are protected and not exploited for cheap labour.


We can't have it both ways...either we want us oldies to work until we die or we want children to start work as soon as they hit their teens. If there are too few jobs and our government is in favour of unemployment then Sugar is as big a dick as I believe him to be for suggesting this.


Join the debate at

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Tes Editorial

Latest stories


‘Dear teachers: you have been amazing’

Looking back on the past year, school staff should remind themselves that they have been doing an extraordinary job in extraordinary times, says Geoff Barton
Geoff Barton 23 Jul 2021