Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg has said that state schools should teach speaking skills as part of the national curriculum.
Communication skills are essential when it comes to getting a job and many colleges and universities also conduct interviews when deciding which applicants to accept.
Twigg points out that many private schools coach their pupils in interview and debating techniques, giving them an advantage over state school pupils in the jobs market.
Having taken English to A Level in a state school, I found the overwhelming majority of the work was written and, when there was the opportunity to partake in public speaking, many people were lacking in confidence. I think this was mostly due to the fact that it was something they weren’t used to doing.
Teaching young people speaking skills could lead to more engagement in the classroom and enable people to better articulate their ideas and arguments.
To many, public speaking is daunting, but it is something we will have to do at some point in our lives – be it in a job interview, a university seminar or at a social event.
Teaching young people communication skills and improving their confidence would do a lot of good.