The Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel poll showed that 66% of FDs think that the level of business preparation in our schools is poor, and that only 19% see it as being satisfactory.
As the new school year begins, the results underline the importance FDs place upon early business experience as a key to success.
One respondent who wished to remain anonymous said: ‘We are unable to compete in this area with other European countries. We do not prepare our children enough in the same way that continentals do.’
Tim Martin, the FD of MRC, saw a problem with the environment in which business education has been taught. He said comprehensive education provided no introduction to business, but private schools did. Moreover, he added, ‘that limits our innovation and business to a narrow clique of people’.
Other reasons for the dissatisfaction put emphasis on what was seen as a general absence of ‘practical’ topics from school syllabuses as a preparation for ‘the real world’. A number of respondents described a general feeling of displeasure with the British education system as a whole.
Those FDs who were happy with the level of business education believed it was too soon in the child’s school life to introduce this kind of teaching.
George Sutherland, FD at Edinburgh University, said he was content: ‘not because they provide sufficient education in business, but because I don’t think it’s appropriate. Schools should give a broad education to allow pupils to embark on further study of their choice, be it business or whatever.’
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