// John Lewis to offer basic literacy and numeracy classes to young staff
// Dame Sharon White said young staff members have been “completely failed” by the education system
John Lewis Partnership chair Sharon White has said the company will provide basic literacy and numeracy classes to young staff because they have been “completely failed” by the education system.
White criticised the UK’s education set-up and said that some of the 16 year olds at John Lewis did not have “functional literacy and numeracy” skills.
She also warned that children who are less academically inclined are not always able to reach their full potential.
“To have done ten years, 11, 12 years of education, and not having, in many cases, functional literacy, certainly, pretty typically not having functional numeracy beyond the age of, I’d say, ten, 11, means that they may then have fabulous people skills and fabulous skills in terms of operating in a team but that’s almost out with the education system,” White said.
The Times Education Commission is currently examining the future of education in light of the Covid-19 crisis.
It will also look at the decline in social mobility, as well as how technology can help improve education for children in the UK.
Former Labour prime Minister Tony Blair, children’s laureate Cressida Cowell and director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris are among those giving evidence to the committee.
The year-long commission is set to produce a final report in June 2022.
White’s comments came after it was announced earlier this month that John Lewis’ 5000 office-based staff will work from home three days a week.
Employees will only be required to come into the office for two days a week.