As we speak, my son is sampling a range of optional subjects for his new secondary level school. They’re all great subjects, but because of the small size of the school and the teaching abilities of the staff, he will have to make 4 ‘either or’ choices.

One of the either / or choices is business or art. Unfortunately it’s not art in the general sense that we should all strive to be artists, but it’s the painting and drawing variety.

I didn’t have the chance to study business at school. The closest I could get was economics at A level, and I eschewed that unknown quantity for languages, which I liked and was relatively good at. As a consequence I wasn’t exposed to business in any great degree until I got my first job as a college graduate. Of course, some people never brush shoulders with business their entire lives, preferring a life devoted to many of the industries in the pubic sector, like teaching, healthcare, academia and the like.

I think business is a really good idea for kids at school, and why not in primary school as well as secondary? For better or worse our lives are pretty well governed by money, so the sooner kids get their heads around the concepts of money, value, the effect of time on both and managing cash and priorities, the better. It also introduces them to the world of entrepreneurs and being enterprising, which – rather than big business – is the future of work for many of us and gives us control, flexibility and choice, which are all vital to a good quality of life.

Richard Branson has written very recently about the benefits of learning about business in schools and Seth Godin has some very well thought out views on what schools should be getting kids to do. So we’re in pretty good company then. It’s my son’s choice what he takes, and of course I and Mrs D will have some influence, but I hope he chooses business, and does it with artistry.

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