Think about these questions:

  • How many shark attacks have there been in the past few years?

  • Did the lighter or the match come first?

  • Roughly what proportion of Earth’s population live in the northern hemisphere?

Our brains produce an answer to these questions, and often immediately; but the answers might surprise you! Sharks actually kill far fewer people than you might expect. The first lighter dated back hundreds of years, preceding matches. Ninety percent of Earth’s population live in the northern hemisphere.

We all want the best for children and young people, and the decisions we take matter, not least because when it comes to education we do have a substantial amount of freedom. In other areas – healthcare, for instance – we tend to be prescribed particular treatments, but in education there is much more choice in terms of which education institutions to go to, which courses to pick, and which careers to aim for.

There is no shortage of advice and information – in some cases, too much – but anyone who says that the answer to making difficult education decisions is merely to read endless reports is often misguided.

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