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Future Voices: Should schools be teaching more life skills?

PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 April 2017

File photo of money. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

File photo of money. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Many high school students feel that they should be learning more about life skills and less about how to find the area of a trapezium.

Some argue that schools are only teaching them content that will allow them to pass exams and they are only prepared for the tests, not the outside world.

The pressure to raise standards and prove progress has caused many schools to teach the exam rather than the students.

Every year the Youth Parliament run a ballot amongst young people.

Last year more than 2,3000 of the votes were for a “curriculum to prepare us for life”.

Those asked expressed a wish for a school curriculum that includes life skills on topics like finance, sex and relationships and politics as they feel this would help them to live a happy, healthy and successful adult life.

Of course they also wanted academic rigour, but felt that school life has become too narrow and only focused on scoring as highly as possible in tests which have very little functional use in actual life after 18.

A local school has taken this feedback on board.

Emily Oxbury, year 11 student from Thorpe St Andrew, said: “In our school we are doing some Barclays Lifeskills lessons.

“There are a whole range of different activities, from group finance games to practicing filling out fake cheques.

“In general I have found it really helpful and it has certainly made me think about different things, like prioritising how to spend money whilst at university, and what to expect from a part time job.”

• Are these skills which schools should be teaching alongside the academic curriculum, or is it the job of parents and students to prepare for life? Tell us in the comments section.

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