First published in The Times letters to editor:
Sir, William Hague is right that education faces significant challenges: the recovery catch-up from the pandemic, our significant skills deficit and the convergence of many new technologies from robotics to genetics (“Johnson needs to start a school revolution”, May 18). There has been a polarised debate about knowledge v skills when what our education system needs is a mixture of both: it’s no good just learning the names of the fish in the rivers if you aren’t also taught how to fish.
We need to use the opportunity after Covid not only for longer school days (with extra sporting and wellbeing activities alongside tuition) but also to transform our curriculum to prepare pupils for the world of work. That means embedding employer partnerships, as demonstrated by the Mossbourne Academy medical programme (report, May 17), and a rapid expansion of university technical colleges. GCSEs at 16 could be replaced by SATs, and a new baccalaureate encompassing academic, vocational and technical education could replace A-levels.
Robert Halfon MP
Chairman, House of Commons education select committee