Addressing the annual Headmaster and Mistress's Conference in London, Sarah Harper, Professor of Gerontology and Demography of OIA, called on Schools to consider introducing life course skills to help children cope with future longevity.
"Half of the girls born in the UK at the end of last century are predicted to live into the 22nd Century, said Harper, It is thus essential that our schools start to prepare our children for the significant increases in longevity which we are now facing. In the life time of our children we may see normal life expectancy in this country raised from 80 to 95 or even 100. Given these long lives, and the possibility that increasing years may be spent health and active as drug therapy and technology increases healthy life expectancy, our children will have to plan their lives in a different way from their parents and grandparents"
"Helping young children understand that they have many options over their lives - when to study, when to have children, when to work and for how long - and that their lives may not be the current pattern of 'education, work, retirement' - will be a first start. Older children will most certainly need to learn life course skills such as financial preparation for times of need, understanding healthy living, knowing how to increase their skills across their lives. Future generations will have to rely far more on their own resources, and not rely on government or others to look after them. We need to ensure that they have the skills to cope with the very varied life options that they will face in the 21st Century". Said Harper.