Young people hear so much about the need to do well in their exams but virtually nothing on the need to invest in themselves as people, and yet that's what will set them up for success in the workplace--and in life. Young people face so many challenges during their transition to adulthood and employment. Giving them the tools to do that successfully is surely the responsibility of our society. Ofsted's report should be a wake-up call to make that a reality.
Official figures estimate that one in 10 school-aged children and young people have a diagnosable mental health issue such as anxiety or depression, but other more recent surveys place that figure much higher. This is above and beyond the sorts of knocks and challenges that we all encounter in life - this is a diagnosable mental health problem and requires professional support.
The UK is shockingly behind other developed countries in terms of children's health outcomes, with five more children dying per day than in Sweden. So many health issues facing our children are preventable - yet the Government has just cut £200 million from public health spending and with it many of the resources we need to educate children about their health.
Ofsted has received criticism from two committees of MPs this week, who have slammed its failure to highlight the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal and the 'Trojan Horse' plot in Birmingham schools, after allegations of attempted takeovers by individuals looking to impose a view of radical Islam on the students.
In the same way it is necessary to have limits on freedom of speech, we must too have limits on tolerance of intolerance. Too many independent faith schools break this threshold, perpetuate division and prevent meaningful cross-faith contact. In the interests of better long-term integration, we should gradually ban them.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, said recently that private schools should be stripped of their charitable status for failing to sponsor academies and struggling state schools in poor areas. Through my personal experience of the private education system and my current work to provide academies with cost effective extra-curricular programs, I couldn't agree with him more.
Many in the British Muslim community genuinely feel they often come 'under siege' by the right wing media, and are not helped by our political class. The protracted sensational depiction of the Birmingham 'Trojan Horse' concern, widely believed to be fake, has aggravated the situation further in the last few months.