Guidance for over-7s to combat allure of celebrity

3rd October 2008 at 01:00
Schools look set to receive formal guidance on how to interest pupils from the age of seven on jobs in the "real world" in a bid to combat the effects of celebrity culture in schools, as part of Sir Jim Rose's review of the primary curriculum.

Schools look set to receive formal guidance on how to interest pupils from the age of seven on jobs in the "real world" in a bid to combat the effects of celebrity culture in schools, as part of Sir Jim Rose's review of the primary curriculum.

Primaries are to be encouraged to organise more events such as enterprise days, and to invite visitors from outside organisations to talk about their jobs to seven- to 11-year-olds.

John Crookes, an adviser at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), which is making recommendations to the Rose review, said it was part of the review's remit to put more emphasis on children's personal development, including making them more aware of career options.

The recommendations from the QCA are being drawn up against the background of concerns about social mobility. Pupils from poorer backgrounds are less likely to be exposed to positive role models, Mr Crookes said, and instead might look to celebrities.

He said: "The role models that are around now, or that they see in the media, are not necessarily encouraging you to see yourself as becoming a successful adult in a realistic way. If there are low expectations within the community, and no role models from the world of work, and so forth, you have difficulties."

But not all pupils who idolise celebrities come from poorer backgrounds. Mr Crookes said: "We have been asking children what they want to do when they grow up. One young girl said she wanted to be a footballer's wife. Her dad is a university lecturer. He wasn't very pleased.

"A lot of primary schools already do things like enterprise projects, enterprise weeks . A lot also invite visitors such as the local community policeman in to talk about their work. We want to encourage more of that, and we want to see that when they do that, they look broadly at a whole range of employers."

Earlier this week, Tim Hastie-Smith, chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, said that celebrity culture was taking over in schools because of the breakdown of a "shared value system" founded on religion.

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