Gove: Facebook chief a role model for pupils

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The Independent Online

The Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been named as a role model for the Government's education reforms.

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, launched a review of the national curriculum with a plea for pupils to study a broader range of subjects. Mr Zuckerberg's education history, he said, "powerfully underlines the lesson that a rigorous academic education is the best preparation" for working life.

Mr Zuckerberg, 26, studied French, Hebrew, Latin and Ancient Greek, then went on to take a maths degree. The rounded education had helped him on to a path where he eventually earned billions, said Mr Gove. "He would have done very well in our English baccalaureate."

Under it, students must gain at least a C grade in English, maths, science, a language and a humanities subject – either history or geography. Mr Gove described the baccalaureate – on which schools were measured for the first time this month – as a "nudge" towards the direction he wanted the curriculum to take.

He made it clear that a return to the compulsory study of foreign languages up to the age of 16 was on the cards as a result of the review – six years after Labour had decided to make the subject voluntary for 14 to 16-year-olds. That decision led to a massive decline in the take-up of languages, both at GCSE and A-level.

Launching the review at Twyford Church of England High School in Ealing, west London, Mr Gove made it clear that four subjects would remain a compulsory core in the new national curriculum – English, maths, science and PE.