Too many London children are narrowing their horizons by sticking to their own postcodes and failing to explore the city, the Mayor’s education adviser warns.Oh, good grief, perhaps you should put ‘The Knowledge’ on every school curriculum?
Teenagers are missing out on the rich culture of London and their ignorance of the capital is preventing them from “reaching for the stars” according to Dr Tony Sewell.Maybe they aren't quite so keen on that ‘rich culture of London’ as you are?
Or maybe they need to worry more about the postcode gangs than you ever will?
Or maybe they've been raised by parents terrified into immobility by media scare stories and so have been brought up with a fear of the unknown akin to battery hens?
Dr Sewell, who runs the Generating Genius charity that prepares underprivileged children for university, was behind the idea of a “London curriculum” for schools in the capital, which Boris Johnson backs.
He said real and perceived barriers such as cost, transport and health and safety are stopping teachers from taking children out of the classroom. He warned that the “London isn't for me” mentality meant youngsters missed “the endlessly enriching and stimulating array of activities that London has to offer; it’s also symptomatic of a narrowness of outlook and ambition that prevents so many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds reaching for the stars”.Gosh, it’s amazing what you can read into one incident, isn't it? We’ll get to just what that incident was in a minute.
And when they applied for university they chose a local college “rather than aim for one of the elite institutions that lie further afield, outside their comfort zone in Dagenham, Brent or Beckenham.”Perhaps because that’s also cheaper for them? Did that ever cross your mind?
Oh, right. That ‘one incident’. Well, here it is:
Dr Sewell said one youngster going to a course in Trafalgar Square phoned to ask what bus he needed.I…
Wait. That’s it?
He added: “So why doesn't this ambitious, motivated straight-As sixth-form student from one of London’s inner suburbs know how to get into town, a distance of around five miles?
Perhaps they’re taking their lead from Jessie J who confessed she can’t locate London on a map, despite being born in Redbridge and educated in Croydon”.Or perhaps because they think that that’s the sort of detail that the university should know offhand?
I mean, if I ring for travel details to an unfamiliar place, it’s something I’ll often ask. It doesn't mean I don’t know how to use GoogleMaps!