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Children should leave school at 16: Richard Branson

By Jennifer Cockerell

Published 03/10/2015

Richard Branson
Richard Branson

Children should leave school at 16 and go travelling to learn the life skills they need to get on in the world, Sir Richard Branson has said.

Speaking at a Virgin Disruptors event on "the future of education", the billionaire entrepreneur said the current system sees children spend too many years at school. "I think by the age of 16, for most they should have learnt all the basics that they need to get out into the outside world," he said. "My own feeling is that at age 16, ideally, they should go off and travel for a year, and if they want to go to university they should be able to go to a university course that is not longer than about two years."

He also pointed out that shorter courses would result in lower fees, to stop students being "saddled with tones and tonnes of debt".

"Maybe being a doctor needs three or four years, but most courses - you could get them done in nine months, 15 months, 18 months, and then get people out into the workforce. I think a radical rethink is needed," he said.

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