Monday, 29 June 2015


Employers continue to argue that we can only realise and release the potential of our children and young people if they are better prepared for life and work in the twenty first century. In recent years we have made considerable progress in raising standards and in improving the educational attainment of our children and young people, but the pace of change remains insufficient and the focus on skills has been limited.
The country’s rate of improvement at most key stages has also failed to keep pace with our international competitors. The country cannot secure the economic transformation to which it aspires unless the improvement rate is accelerated. This means reshaping our educational system to create outstanding institutions for every stage of learning; from early years and primary education through to college and university. We also need to rethink and re-imagine how we develop the ‘soft skills’; character, grit, determination and passion for learning. We need to start young and use the available and highly successful toolkits to ensure that every child is a reader, writer and counter by eight, a powerful learner by eleven and on a learning pathway to success by the end of formal statutory education. The national and international research very clearly identifies that we need to re-engineer and re-imagine the curriculum in schools to meet the needs of the changing world. Our children will need to be increasingly adaptable, creative, innovative and aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and develop character, self-discipline and grit. Developing personal characteristics like hard work, persistence, perseverance, determination and teamwork leads to school and career success. So we must develop a curriculum framework where we coach, nurture and place these things at the heart of everything we are doing with our children and young people. To build a world class learning landscape where we deliver academic and technical excellence, we must use schemes like the Cutlers' 'Made in Sheffield' programme where we develop character alongside the essential skills need for success in the world of work.

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