Byline: RAY MASSEY
CAPTAINS of industry may carp about low standards in schools, say teachers.
But they never put their money where their mouths are, do they? Well, they do actually.
Out in the 'real world', companies that help to create Britain's wealth and keep millions of people in work rely on a steady supply of young people who can read, write, spell and do their sums.
The fact that so many can't do these basics, despite 12 years of compulsory education, smacks of the sort of complacency and poor quality once associated with the dark days of British Leyland in the Seventies.
But Britain's motor industry, which remains the nation's biggest employer from shop floor to showroom, has turned itself around - with more than a little shove from Nissan, Honda and Toyota, whose UK plants forced them to rethink their methods. So why can't schools do the same?
Luxury carmaker BMW is helping to bring lessons about quality and attention to detail into the classroom.
This month, it is launching a special pack for design and technology lessons which is available free to every school in the country - and already half of them have requested one.
Early drafts of the design and technology curriculum were slated for being irrelevant to the needs of industry, with one celebrated example of pupils being asked to create shoes - out of paper. By contrast, the BMW pack, aimed at pupils aged between 14 to 18, gives an insight into real product development, production processes, quality control, testing and marketing. …