Is Britain's education system fit for purpose?

In depth: Employers have long struggled to get the skills they need, but perhaps we should cut modern schools - and kids - some slack.

by Stefan Stern

Wanted: a head of coffee for the UK’s Tate galleries. Must be good with people and like coffee. Annual salary: £39,500 per annum, plus a bonus scheme. Note: it is important that the new job-holder does not look down on the museum curators, art historians who are only paid in the region of £35,000 a year.

When the advertisement for the above vacancy appeared earlier this year – admittedly worded slightly differently – there was a shocked and appalled reaction. More money for making coffee than knowing about Gainsborough, Blake and Hockney? The Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry tweeted his despairing response: “I give up, they’ve won.” 

What better illustration could there be of the way educational standards have fallen in this country? Cappuccino is valued more highly than Constable. No wonder the world has gone to the dogs.

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