World Challenge, Outstanding Schools Journalism Awards Sponsor for the 2016 CIPR Education Journalism Awards blog about the importance of the wider development of young people.
by Matt Eastlake
Since the lifting of the student cap, and with the recent GCSE and A level reforms, young people can be forgiven for thinking that the route to higher education or a career is based purely on academics.
At World Challenge, we’ve always believed in helping people gain experience outside of the classroom, and in a world where stressed students are dropping their hobbies to focus on grades, our work has never been more important.
Over a year ago we saw Nicky Morgan embrace her new role as education secretary by offering a different approach to Michael Gove, extolling the virtues of grit and resilience. Yet 16 months on, have we seen the impact of this enthusiasm?
Businesses certainly don’t think so. In fact, only at the beginning of this month did its previous director general lambast the education sector, saying that problems of poor productivity and skills shortages begin not in the workplace, but in the classroom.
We regularly carry out research into this area, having surveyed universities last year and recently businesses. This research has shown that universities are finding it hard to distinguish between multiple straight-A students, and businesses are becoming aware that a first class degree doesn’t always mean a person is right for the job.
Extra-curricular activities and development outside of the classroom are consistently cited as providers of in-demand soft skills, enabling young people to stand out from the crowd in saturated job markets and ever-evolving university admissions processes.
Education journalism has a vital role in continuing the debate around productivity and skills, holding the government to account and continuously arguing that education doesn’t need to solely take place in schools and other educational institutions.
It is for this reason that we are sponsoring the Award for Outstanding Schools Journalism at this year’s CIPR Education Journalism Awards. In order to improve productivity and ensure the UK workforce is appropriately skilled, we need to ensure that our schools are providing people with the best start possible. It is only by continuously questioning and challenging those who influence our education system that we can ensure our schools are able to do this.
Matt Eastlake is Managing Director of World Challenge, which recently released new research exploring what businesses look for when recruiting school leavers and recent graduates. You can view the full report here.
If you’d like to hear about great journalism in the sector and network with the best talent then come join us for the CIPR Education Journalism Awards this Thursday!
The CIPR Education Journalism Awards will take place on Thursday 12th November at Dartmouth House in Mayfair and there are just a few tickets left.
To buy tickets click here: education-journalism-awards.eventbrite.co.uk