I was lucky to meet the Headmaster of one of England's top schools yesterday evening and discuss education and social responsibility.
We agreed that when children and teenagers are bored they are more likely to become disaffected and end up in trouble.
We must teach each child according to their ability - every child should be stretched to achieve their very best. I believe that unless we set and stream our children we are letting them all down. Yet in my local state primary school we have recently had setting removed.
I believe that in the UK we are letting down our best and brightest. I know that by keeping brighter children in mixed classes they pull everyone along - but I also believe that if we are not pushing ahead our best and brightest we are failing to educate the leaders of the next generation - and in this increasing competitive world that is not acceptable.
When I left university in 1989 I went on a 5 month mini MBA-style training course in New York. Recruits from all around the world were joined together. We had trainees from the top universities in Japan, France, Germany, Argentina etc etc. From the US we had recruits from Harvard, Yale and other Ivy League universities. There were a dozen of us from the UK. In a high pressure, intense learning environment it was the UK students that stood out. Our University education had taught us all to think on our feet. When I left university British graduates were the best.
I want to know that this is still true for children at school today.