'Education is so wrong': Jools Oliver criticises 'pointless exams'

‘Education is so wrong’: Jamie Oliver’s wife criticises academic pressure and ‘pointless exams’ as she recalls being ‘relieved’ when pandemic meant her daughter didn’t have to sit her A-levels

  • The wife of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has described school exams as ‘pointless
  • She lauded written exams being cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic
  • Her daughter instead did her A-levels in a ‘different, constructive’ way 

The wife of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has described school exams as ‘pointless’.

Jools Oliver said she was relieved when the pandemic meant that their eldest daughter Poppy did not have to take the traditional written exams.

‘It’s so wrong, education is so wrong,’ said the mother of five. ‘The only thing that was good that came out of coronavirus was my daughter didn’t have to sit her A-levels. She did, but in a different way, a constructive way and it saved her.’

She added: ‘The stress of school is so unnecessary. I don’t get school myself, I don’t get how they teach, I don’t understand the subjects they teach still.

Jools and Jamie Oliver and their older children (left to right) Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, Buddy Bear Maurice and Poppy Honey Rosie. Jools Oliver said she was relieved when the pandemic meant that their eldest daughter Poppy did not have to take the traditional written exams

Jamie Oliver giving evidence to a cross-party health committee in the House of Commons on his plan to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis. The 46-year-old TV chef met Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi earlier this year to campaign for better school meals following a rise in child obesity during the pandemic

‘Jamie and I once wanted to open a school. Years ago, we had this idea, but obviously it’s not possible. But it was a dream, the dream school – which I’m sure most parents would love – that fits your child completely but not so focused on the way it is now [with] this academic pressure, these pointless exams.’

Speaking on her podcast Spinning Plates, the 47-year-old said school was tough for less bright youngsters. ‘It’s great if you’re academically gifted, it’s amazing. But if not, it’s a bloody hard slog.’

The Olivers have five children. As well as Poppy, 19, they have Daisy, 18, Petal, 12, Buddy, 11, and five-year-old River.

The couple are no strangers to intervening in education.

The 46-year-old TV chef met Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi earlier this year to campaign for better school meals following a rise in child obesity during the pandemic.

In 2005, he sparked a national debate over school dinners when he exposed unhealthy food on the menus, including the serving of Turkey Twizzlers.

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