The nature of work in Britain has significantly changed. It is now common for people to change their career direction (whether by choice or necessity) several times over their working lives. Yet our education offering has changed little to reflect this new reality. In fact, under the Conservatives some aspects of school education have reverted back to the way they were decades ago (e.g. more focus on 'learning by rote').
It is also the case that we are now struggling with a very high burden of chronic disease from school age onward all too often caused by us eating unhealthily and not exercising sufficiently.
I would like to see some changes to the emphasis of school education as one step toward dealing with these issues.
Firstly, I would like to see secondary learning (11-16) place more emphasis on inspiring students to become lifelong learners. A core aim of each taught subject should be to try to enthuse students in the subject; to try to show them the fascinating aspects of it. For example, our aim should be that a student moving-on to an apprenticeship in accountancy should also leave school wanting to sketch, wanting to read popular history books, wanting to watch astronomy documentaries. This may require some rework to the curriculum, teacher training and teaching quality regulation.
With regard to the health issue, I would like to see cooking's place in the curriculum further developed. I would also like to see reform of physical education at secondary level. Too often children who leave primary school active are put-off physical activity by a secondary emphasis on competitive sports which they may not be good at. As with academic learning, we need to see more of an emphasis at secondary leavel (11-16) on inspiring lifelong physical exercise. Children should be able to freely opt for less competitive exercise options (e.g. gym, walking, swimming, jogging, circuit classes) throughout secondary school. Spending should occur at every school to give these opportunities at a high quality level - it is a huge way to save NHS and care money in the long term and it will make Britain happier as well as healthier.