Former MasterChef: The Professionals presenter Michel Roux Jr has said that children as young as 12 should be "split up" depending on their academic ability, and some steered towards apprenticeships.
Mr Roux, a two Michelin starred chef who left school at 16 to begin a three-year apprenticeship in Paris, said that children should not be "forced" down inappropriate academic pathways.
"I believe kids at 12 or 13 already know where they want to go and some kids are just not academics, like me," he said. "I think we should try to find out at that young age what kids are good at and split them up, not…force them into somewhere they ultimately won't be interested and not do well. We end up with thousands and thousands of young boys and girls going to uni, going into [higher] education with massive debts of £20,000 to 30,000 that they may or may not pay and a degree in, say, economic history."
He added: "Maybe you become a politician or journalist. But how many jobs are there? Very few. For me, it's just wrong – the whole system is wrong."
Food for thought
Mr Roux also said that cookery should become part of the curriculum, blaming a lack of "knowledge, respect and values" for children leaving school without any traditional cooking skills.
"Just [teach children] basic skills," he said. "Teach them five, six recipes and basic hygienic skills and where food comes from."
Mr Roux also slammed schools for selling sugary drinks and snacks to schoolchildren. "Let's stop feeding our children sugar," he said. "They shouldn't be selling it to you at school, that's wrong, too."