All our young people need the chance to build a future

Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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It’s important that our children get a broad education, taking in all sorts of skills that will help equip them for life outside of the classroom.

But while there will always be a need for what many still refer to as the ‘three Rs’ – writing, reading and maths – there are some pupils who simply don’t flourish in a traditional school setting.

Rather than dismiss those who are perhaps less academically minded, our schools have a duty to find ways to engage with all pupils in ways that will see them get the most out of what can be some of the most important years of their lives.

That’s why the idea of setting up an innovative school specialising in technology and engineering certainly sounds like a good one.

Academic qualifications will still be achieved and pupils will still be required to study core subjects such as English and maths.

But for those who show a particular talent for more practical skills, this will be a chance to gain work experience and benefit from the involvement of those who have already achieved much in their field of business.

Of course, the unique dockyard setting should also help fire the imagination of pupils interested in forging out a future in engineering. With all the rich history on offer here, it would be a great place to base a school.

Let’s not forget that the Royal Navy also has a proud tradition for apprenticeships.

While the modern-day navy has had to adapt greatly in recent times, so too has our education system.

There are those who might be a little wary of what Tim Gallier is proposing at first.

If his plans get the go-ahead it will be the first school of its kind so it’s fair to say that this is new territory for all involved.

Profit should never be the driving force behind education – but it is clear there’s plenty of room for a different model of schooling.

And that can only be a good thing if it means more of our young people walk out of the classroom with their heads held high, knowing they have the skills they need to make a life for themselves.