Your message is critically important. As you rightly state, the very continuation of our society is at stake. We are growing a generation many of whom leave education knowing not much about rather little, and who are, for the most part, quite unfitted for the kind of competitive world in which they will find themselves.

Your title says it all. Whoever thought that we could learn enough about life by sitting in a classroom? Nobody really did, I suspect, but, as ever, teachers find it easier to teach what can be taught rather than what needs to be learnt. Governments, too, like things to be tidy, measurable and controllable. So it was that an unconscious conspiracy grew to define an education in terms of things that can be formally studied and tested, and we, the parents and employers, went along with it. That is our shame.

Your book lays out the reasons we are in the state we are, and why it is so dangerous. It would be wonderful if all MPs, all headteachers and all parents read your book. I fear that they won’t, no matter how well marketed it is. Yet governments won’t move, nor will schools feel free to experiment or communities to get involved unless we can grow a wide consensus that our idea of adolescent education or what the French, more accurately, call ‘formation’ needs to change.

Your challenge, as I see it, is not to come up with specific recommendations for reform; that will always be better done by those in charge; but to create the mood swing that will propel those reforms. I have to believe that this would be best achieved by some form of television, backed up by your book or some summaries of it. We have to reach a great swathe of the nation and I know of no other way to do that other than by some form of mass communication.

That won’t be easy, but if I can help in any way I will. There are few things more important.