Its not the teachers, its the system!

Uncategorized Mar 01, 2022

It’s not the teachers, it's the system!

Why is it that young people are coming out of the education system without a clue how to manage their career? 

Is it the teachers?  Is it the students themselves? Is it the careers provision? Is it the parents/carers?

You could argue that to some extent we all have to take some responsibility, because we all collude with a system that is blatantly unfit for purpose. 

The whole premise of the education system is to get people qualifications. Young people are put under HUGE amounts of pressure to get their qualifications. You’ve only got to look at the amount of stress that’s about at GCSE, A’Level, Finals, or whatever exam is approaching. 

The pressure is applied by schools because that is how they are judged as good or bad. In my experience, news of an Ofsted inspection creates instant fear throughout the school.

Parents support this under the illusion they’ve been sold, that their children won’t do well without qualifications. Students are sold the same myth and told lies about what is and isn’t possible for them. 

I’m not saying that training and gaining qualifications is a bad thing, but it has to be relevant. I’m not saying that our educational establishments shouldn’t be accountable for providing an excellent service to their key stakeholders (their students), though the way Ofsted go about it certainly seems questionable.

What I am saying is that we need an education system that 

  • allows young people to believe that they are exceptional and discover the things that truly make them shine: to be able to define and create success for themselves
  • relates each subject that they are studying to how it will be useful to them through the rest of their studies and on into their career and adult life
  • teaches them the career management and entrepreneurial skills to create work they enjoy that supports the lifestyle they choose, and to navigate a changing work landscape
  • develops practical skills to understand how things like finance actually work
  • teaches them emotional intelligence and the mindset skills to manage their own mental health 

Each of the points above is probably a blog in itself, and there may well be other things to add to the mix. I don’t believe this is all down to teachers though. Education is a collaboration between schools/teachers, parents, and the young people themselves. Why is it so rare, I ask myself, for us to see young people in the teacher role, sharing the things they are good at with their peers?

Everyone has to take responsibility for doing something to change the system. “I’m just one person, what difference can I make?” just doesn’t wash. 

One of our initiatives (it's a collaboration between myself and Charlotte Noon), is our

“Teach your teens skill for life” series, that is delivering a series of free webinars to help parents empower their kids. So far we’ve delivered two sessions: 

  • Using values to make good career choices (Dec 2021)
  • How to help your teens ace their exams (Jan 2022)

The third is coming up on March 10th and is called “How to motivate your teens”. If you’re reading this in time, you can register at

If not and if you want to find out more, message me: 

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