Everyone agrees that education is hugely important. The thing is, we’re not particularly sure what we want from it. The aim of education should be to prepare us for the challenges of adult life. Yet from this perspective it’s clear that schools fail all but for tiny portions of their students. Whether in highly academic private schools, or in deprived government-run ones trouble-dealing with life’s challenges remains very widespread indeed. Human ingenuity,energy, goodwill and talent is being lost on an industrial scale. To get more ambitious about education doesn’t necessarily mean spending more money, building more schools, employing more teachers or making exam more difficult. Rather, it should mean focusing more on the real purpose of education.