Yesterday Education Secretary Nicky Morgan stated that being academic in the modern world simply isn't enough, and that too narrow a focus was given to passing exams, when more time should be spent developing the grit and resilience young people will do frequently need in life. This is a message I wholeheartedly agree with, but it is a little late in coming.
Politicians aren't known to agree, but they did reach a consensus on one thing last week: how poor careers advice is in the UK. That's probably not surprising to anyone who's recently come through the school system, which is why representatives of the three major political parties are calling for huge improvements.
The key is to break money's link with status, or to remove the importance of status altogether. True happiness is achieved through introspection, gratitude, helping others and an acceptance of the world around us (see my previous blog). The greed and selfishness of accumulating wealth couldn't be further from achieving that.
Students should not be written off at this General Election. More needs to be done to encourage active participation but it is encouraging to see they want to engage. We hope more will follow in our footsteps at Staffordshire University and launch their own General Election campaigns, to mobilise their students and encourage them to have their say in May.
"We won't raise taxes", "We will not allow university fees to go up", "We'll cut the deficit" and "Net migration will fall to 100,000." All of these are well-known, fairly recent 'promises' made by politicians which also happen to be, in effect, lies, as the matter was in their control and they failed to carry out on what they said, or pledges which could never be kept as it was not in the their power to do so.
So why do politicians appear to bottle the difficult decisions? The easy answer is that they do not want to take a chance with paying the electoral consequences of such decisions. The balance between 'winners' and 'losers' would be such that any government taking the action would be punished at the next election, it is said.
In posing for a photograph with a member of the public, politicians want to try and prove that they definitely do not spend their time being taken out to dine in expensive restaurants by owners of multimillion pound companies who are desperate to avoid paying any more tax. But do they realise how stupid they make themselves look?