Our conversations with experts at the Royal Society, the CBI and the OECD, and with school leaders across our network, have affirmed that a fully rounded education is the only way to sustainably narrow the gap and prepare all young people for their futures.
We welcome the recent debate across the sector on the need for such an education. We agree with Ofsted’s broad analysis that there has been an unintended narrowing of the curriculum in some schools.
Whole Education was set up to respond to this concern; that pressures in the system led schools in some places to focus on exam results at the expense of maintaining a fully rounded entitlement.
Our schools have reported Ofsted’s new emphasis on curriculum gives them ‘the confidence to be braver’. Over time it can create a supportive climate for schools to develop sustainable approaches to delivering a whole education. This is not a quick fix — it can instead give permission and direction to schools. Crucially, it also encourages ambition in schools’ approaches, and can support the development of a mature self-improving system.
49% of young people feel that they are unprepared for the world of work (CBI/ Accenture/Hays polling).
Businesses agree; they report that 90% of school leavers and 50% of graduates are not ready for employment (British Chambers of Commerce survey of businesses).
The time is now.
Text taken from WE’s response to the consultation on Ofsted’s new Inspection Framework