The creator of the Brit School, alma mater of such stars as Amy Winehouse, Adele and Jessie J, has called for an end of the "enduring snobbery" that values academic over vocational education.
Mark Featherstone-Witty, who is also the founding principal of the Sir Paul McCartney-backed Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, warned that the shift to more academic subjects was edging out practical subjects, such as music, dance and design.
Writing in this week's TES, Mr Featherstone-Witty said no academic curriculum can "function without a practical, vocational one feeding it".
And he adds: "Even now, when exam results are announced, the discourse is about students from disadvantaged families being accepted to elite universities, rather than the 16-year-olds and sixth-formers who have discovered occupations that they love. This is an enduring snobbery."
Mr Featherson-Witty warns that the school system risks returning to the days when the Beatles themselves went to school in the 1950s.
Both McCartney and George Harrison, he says, attended the highly academic Liverpool Institute High School for Boys but their music teacher had no idea they were so talented.
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