Forget trigonometry: Here are the 30 things they should teach in school


ASSEMBLING flat pack furniture, jump-starting a car and wiring a plug are amongst the tasks Brits wish they’d been taught at school, it was revealed.

A new study has revealed the top 30 responsibilities adults feel they would have been better off learning than subjects such as Spanish, Geography or Religious Education.

How to unblock the toilet, putting up a shelf and plastering a wall are other undertakings which should have been on the national curriculum according to millions of adults.

More than a third of those polled wish there had been lessons in how to budget, and a further 32 per cent would have appreciated classes on the importance of insurance.

Gary Measures, Managing Director of Able Skills, a leading provider of construction training courses, which commissioned the study, said: “During your school years, the likelihood is that there will have been lessons you loved and lessons you loathed.

“But what many people worry about when they’re adults is whether the lessons they did take have actually helped them with their career.

“So many people start climbing the ladder in one sector then get to a point where they want to try something new, simply because their interests have changed.

“But those who do feel this way should know that it doesn’t matter what age they are, there are ways to retrain – it’s never too late.”


1. How to budget
2. The importance of insurance
3. How loans work
4. How to wire a plug
5. How to take out a pension
6. How to drive
7. How to buy a house
8. How to put up a shelf
9. How to open a bank account
10. How to plaster a wall
11. How to change a car tyre
12. How to turn the water off in the house
13. Things to look for when buying a second hand car
14. How to change the taps
15. How to lay a carpet
16. How to tile a room
17. How to cook a Sunday roast
18. How to jump start a car
19. How to unblock a toilet
20. How to strip wallpaper without damaging the wall
21. How to assemble flat pack furniture
22. How to bring up a baby
23. How to unblock a plug
24. How to grout
25. How to use a drill
26. How to read an electric/gas meter
27. How to fix a bike
28. How to put up a fence
29. How to build a wall
30. How to change a lightbulb.

Four in 10 Brits who took part in the survey said they didn’t feel that their school taught them enough to get them through later life.

When asked which lessons had no impact on their adult life at all, drama, art and French were named as the least useful lessons attended.

Sixty one per cent said they ended up regretting the route they chose after school and 64 per cent even thought about changing their career entirely and training to do something new.

Half of respondents have already retrained during their adult life – many have become electricians, carpenters or mechanics.

But during their adult lifetime, respondents have gone out of their way to learn eight specific new skills that they weren’t taught at school.

Despite this, six in 10 respondents have said how they feel it’s now too late to retrain and try a new career path.

But if they could, they would always encourage their children to take on careers such as being an electrician or a plumber.

Gary added: “We thought there would be many people out there who thought it’s too late to retrain, but it’s surprising to see just how many of them there are.”






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