King Charles criticized the lack of vocational education in schools when he appeared on a special edition of BBC TV show The Repair Shop.
In the unique episode, which will be broadcast by the BBC on Wednesday, he praises the value of technical skills and apprenticeships, and describes the lack of vocational education as a “great tragedy”.
His comments were made while filming at Dumfries House in Scotland before the Queen died, when he was still Prince of Wales, but as King they could raise eyebrows for straying into the politics of education and political commentary.
In The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit, the then-Prince enlists the help of presenter, Jay Blades, and his team to repair an 18th-century bracket clock and a piece of Wemyss Ware pottery made for the Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s diamond.
During the episode, Charles is filmed meeting students from the Prince’s Foundation’s Building Crafts Program, a training initiative that teaches traditional skills such as blacksmithing, stone carving and stone carving. wood.
He says: “I still think the big tragedy is the lack of vocational education in schools, in fact not everyone is designed for university.
“I know from the Prince’s Trust, I’ve seen the difference we can make for people who have technical skills that we need all the time, I have the greatest admiration for people.
“I think that’s the biggest problem, sometimes we forget that. The apprenticeships are essential, but they just gave up on the apprenticeships for some reason. It gives people intense satisfaction and reward.
Although Charles’ views may find sympathy with many education policy makers in Westminster, experts say it is unlikely he would have been so outspoken had he been king at the time. he expressed them.
“I think he’s on the right side when it comes to education,” said author and historian Sir Anthony Seldon. “He is progressive and holistic. He has always been a champion of skills and people who use their heads, hearts and hands.
But he added: “I think he probably wouldn’t have said that if he had been the king.”
As Prince of Wales, Charles was notoriously outspoken in his views on GM crops, architecture and the environment and was accused by critics of “meddling” in government politics. As king, however, he promised to stay out of politics. “I think he understands that as a monarch he can’t get into the political fray,” Seldon said.
Stephen Clear, a lecturer in constitutional and administrative law at Bangor University, said everyone accepted that the King had private and personal views on education and how best to encourage individuals to achieve their talents.
“However, with regard to criticism of the education system, these comments should be considered in the same way as the opinions previously expressed by the king regarding climate change, agricultural policy and the environment – before he became monarch.
“From the beginning of his reign, the King has pledged to change his working practices, to respect the vital parliamentary traditions of the nation and, in essence, not to interfere in political affairs. By necessity, for the constitutional monarchy to survive, it must remain politically neutral and not interfere in legislative processes or political matters.
“King Charles’s public pronouncements and pronouncements, thus far, all indicate that he fully appreciates and acknowledges the ‘book of rules’ which also governed his mother’s reign, and that he does not want to meddle in the political affairs as king.”
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: ‘We recognize that a university course is not for everyone. Young people now have the choice between a range of high-quality technical and vocational training options, including apprenticeships and new T-level qualifications in a range of exciting subjects, helping them to acquire the skills they need to build a good career.