‘Live to 100: work till 75’

This was the prediction of Professor Lynda Gratton at the recent ‘Whole Education’ National conference. Her argument highlighted the growing influence of Artificial Intelligence on the workplace – taking over routine tasks and causing a migration to higher level functions of integration and relationships for humans.

In such a society, she argued, access to knowledge is not the key (Ofsted currently hold a different view), as cognitive ability, creativity, social skills and a commitment to lifelong learning would be move important factors. In other words: ‘When a student completes her schooling and enters adult life she will be judged by two things: the quality of her character and the quality of her work’.

This made me reflect on the value of aspects of our collaborations across the Trust: training in metacognition for teachers; creativity week for students and our commitment to achieve Arts Mark for all our schools; and opportunities such as the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and other aspects of outdoor education.

The conference was also reminded by Professor Robin Banerjee that the UK came bottom of the table of student happiness in the recent PISA international comparative study and should react by creating a network of supportive relationships, promoting kind and co-operative behaviours.

All of which left me reassured that whilst we prepare for the rigours of an inspection framework with a narrow focus on what children know, our commitment to the principles of ‘a whole education’, through staff and student collaboration, is sustained and, ultimately, will help our students thrive in a complex and rapidly changing world.