Independent school pupils are “dominant across society” not because of their academic achievements but because of their “grounding in soft skills”, Sir Anthony Seldon will say.
In a speech at a schools conference tomorrow, the former Master of Wellington College will argue that independent schools are “taking the lead” in preparing students for the jobs required for the 21st century
Sir Anthony, the current vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, criticised the state education system, saying that its “remorseless drive for exam success” was no longer “fit for purpose.”
Speaking at the Tatler Schools Live! conference on Friday, Sir Anthony will say that the state sector has “much to learn from the success of the British independent school model.”
“Twenty-first century employers need much more than the skills developed in exams: they also need what are patronisingly called “soft” skills,” he will say. “These are skills of creativity, teamwork, empathy, grit, resilience and honesty.
“The remorseless drive in state schools for exam success is no longer fit for purpose. Students certainly need to be skilful at maths, science, languages and humanities. But they also need those skills that computers cannot replicate.”
His comments follow findings published by education charities the Sutton Trust and upReach, which revealed that three-and-a-half years after leaving university, those who went to a fee-paying school take home almost £4,500 more.
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