Skip to main content

Should Health & Safety be taught within the
education curriculum?

As you can see from my play on words, this blog is about Health and Safety in education. Should workplace skills be taught to school leavers? Now, some of my thoughts may be based on old information as I left school 26 years ago. Blimey, wished I hadn’t sat and worked that out. I think I’m going to pause this whilst I weep a little…

I don’t have kids, but I have watched and listened as my brother’s children went through school, and things do not seem that different. The way we work out mathematical equations may have changed; the way school kids are disciplined may have changed but the unnecessary pressure put on kids to get the grades to get into University and College seems the same.

When I was at school, we were told to see the careers advisor, and he advised us all to go to College. I was not informed of careers in warehousing, retail, construction, aeronautical, sport (other than a PE teacher) and professions such as driving instructors and lorry driving were not mentioned. Why not? In my opinion, schools are not set up to promote the jobs a lot of people end up doing. Why? Well, most teachers have never left school themselves.

We did get told about apprenticeships. But again the usual, mechanic or electrician and the military was also another big push. I have never been to College full time or University, although I have been to both Oxford and Cambridge University, I delivered sandwiches to Oxford and taught gardeners at Cambridge to use a cherry picker.

Seriously though, I left school with GCSE grades that were probably seen as not the best, but this wasn’t because I couldn’t do better, it was because school was boring to me and I couldn’t have made that any clearer.

I would be told “Colin you’re not very good at French”, “I know” I would say, “I don’t want to speak French I have no interest, I have German family so can I do the German class please” they would tell me “No you cannot because you aren’t any good at French”.
In Geography, we had to learn how far the cliffs were eroding at Walton-on-the-Naze. I can tell you now I have got many a job and promotion with that wealth of knowledge under my belt. (Just in case I am a bit sarcy).

Since leaving school, I have gained workplace qualifications that are equivalent to A levels, and I also believe a diploma. Why now? Because I am interested in the field in which I work.

So, what is this blog about then?

Well, I am not a lover of school as I feel it is only geared up to one thing, College then University, and that’s it. The reality is a lot of people take that route but then end up in the jobs listed above. Should we be teaching Years 10 and 11 (4th & 5th years for us oldies) things such as Health and Safety, First Aid, Management CPC, Mental Health awareness and topics of a similar nature?

By doing this, we are showing there is a world away from College and University. By teaching these skills – and when I say teach I do not mean by teachers, I mean by qualified time served instructors – we would be showing that you can have a good life, earn good money and not get in debt to have a career. It also means when apprentices come into the workplace, they will have prior knowledge of safety.

I am only one man, and I am a quarter of one company so can’t really make a change but if any individuals or any schools would be willing to trial this, then I am sure we could meet to discuss it. Some governing bodies have age restrictions, but that does not mean we can’t have introductory courses to get them interested.

What’s your thoughts and feelings on this?

Leave a Reply