Headlines: November 16th, 2009

Most people do not discover what they are good at until they are 22 years old on average, according to research by the independent education foundation, Edge. Almost half of adults in the study said they were regarded as average or poor students at school and Edge says 2.8 million people were made to feel like failures.

Today’s study shows that only 31 per cent of students identified their strengths in the classroom. Almost half of people discover their career talent through their first job or later in their career. Work experience helps others and for 15 per cent of people a hobby is the route to finding what they are good at.

The findings are released today ahead of a landmark documentary film, ‘We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For’, which Edge says, reveals a ‘very inconvenient truth about the UK education system’ A number of the students labelled ‘poor’ or ‘average’ said they were not given a chance to discover their talent because they were written off by teachers.

Lord Puttnam’s film has its premiere tomorrow and follows the lives of five young people from Swindon. It highlights how many school students are being allowed to ‘slip through the cracks’. Andy Powell, Chief Executive of Edge, which is supporting the film said: “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to realise their talent in school and that there should be many paths to success, it’s simply not good enough that young people are falling through the cracks and labelled as a ‘poor’ or ‘average’ student because their potential is not being fulfilled through traditional academic teaching.”