Flegg High School teacher issues open invitation to business leaders

Flegg High School principal Dr Simon Fox. Picture: Paul Harrison

Flegg High School principal Dr Simon Fox. Picture: Paul Harrison - Credit: Archant

Business leaders should work with schools to help better prepare students for a future of work, according to an education chief.

Flegg High School principal Simon Fox issued the open invitation to members of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce at its An Audience With Norfolk Schools event.

Dr Fox said the Great Yarmouth-based school, and others across the county, was keen to build relationships with the business sector to help meet new challenges in the face of new technology such as coding.

'We need to help young people understand how to deal with the world they now live in,' he told businesses at last week's breakfast at the Holiday Inn North, in Norwich.

'Computer science and coding can be a foreign language to IT teachers who have been teaching something different for five years.

'We need to work with the business sector to say 'how can you help us get help to teach subjects where we still need help to do that?''

He also called on businesses to help schools teach skills to prepare children for the workplace, and highlighted upcoming changes to the way GCSEs are graded.

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Students in Year 10, aged 14 and 15, will receive a number instead of a letter for their GCSEs in 2017.

'There is amazing change coming with assessment and it's going to affect all of you,' said Dr Fox.

'Have you as business leaders thought about what your minimum expectations will be in that new world?

'We need to be able to communicate to young people and say 'if you don't get this level you will find it really hard to get a job.'

And with a growing number of schools becoming academies, Dr Fox said some smaller schools may need help in understanding how to thrive as an independent business.

He added: 'There are 1,000 pages of financial regulation that academies have to follow. I trained to be a teacher and 1,000 pages is a bit of a hard slog. Fortunately I have a business manager but primary schools don't necessarily.'

Are you launching an innovative product? Call business writer Sabah Meddings on 01603 772879 or email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk