Simon Cowell sparks debate after saying he wants son Eric to leave school aged 10

Simon Cowell has revealed that he wants his five-year-old son Eric to leave school at the age of 10 so that he can work for him.

During an interview with NBC yesterday, the ‘The X Factor’ judge said: “Listen, if I can get him out at 10 to come and work for me then I would.”

Cowell left school aged 16 with GCE O Levels in English Language and Literature and Sociology, and strongly believes that skipping further education is one of the biggest reasons behind his successful career.

”I was better off out of school than I was in,” the 59-year-old continued. “But I didn’t have that major stress about homework, because I would just throw it away. A healthy, happy kid is more important than an over-educated, stressed kid.”

Not one to shy away from controversy, he also added that he doesn’t believe in homework.

“I saw a documentary recently where apparently the most academic kids in the world now are from Finland,” he added. “The reason is they stopped homework and the education minister said there is way too much stress on kids. They have to be kids, they have to enjoy themselves and enjoy school.”

Cowell’s comments soon sparked a debate on Twitter with a number of social media users praising the father-of-one for his views.

“I agree with the sentiment that a happy and healthy kid is better than a well-educated, stressed kid,” one wrote.

Another agreed, adding [sic]: “School isn’t the right place for all children because ‘one size fits all schooling’ is wrong... square pegs round holes.”

While others highlighted that school is a safe place for a number of children who come from families who would struggle to provide safety and structure during the week.

“Undermining the depth of classroom education and school work is an uninspiring lecture by BGT boss Simon Cowell for children from working class families who rely on the school structure for meals, friendship, and the social connections they build on later in life,” one wrote.

In light of Cowell’s divisive comments, Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said: "It’s really important that someone like him sets a good example. Many children from lower incomes and disadvantaged backgrounds depend on school.”

“The school is the place that gives them some comfort, support, friendships and, even meals,” he continued. “Not everyone can be like Simon Cowell. I think he’s got to be very careful to not encourage kids the wrong way.”

But it’s not the first time the music executive has spoken out about his views on education.

Back in November 2016, he told BBC Radio 2: “I don’t understand why you would want to torture someone to be somewhere they don’t want to be but actually want to go out into the real world and make a living.”

Despite his desire to bring Eric out of school early, Cowell has claimed that he will “100% encourage him” to finish aged 16.

In England, children are permitted to stay in school until the last Friday of June if they will turn 16 by the end of the summer holidays.

Post-school, teenagers are required to either stay in full-time education at a college or to start an apprenticeship.

Otherwise, school leavers must spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering while in part-time education or training.

17 PHOTOS
Simon Cowell out and about in recent years
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Simon Cowell out and about in recent years
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13: Simon Cowell arrives at the "America's Got Talent" Season 14 Live Show at Dolby Theatre on August 13, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13: Simon Cowell arrives at the "America's Got Talent" Season 14 Live Show at Dolby Theatre on August 13, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 04: Simon Cowell attends City Year Los Angeles' Spring Break: Destination Education at Sony Studios on May 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for City Year Los Angeles )
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Season: 14 -- Pictured: Simon Cowell -- (Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Season: 14 -- Pictured: (l-r) Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, and Terry Crews -- (Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 11: Simon Cowell attends NBC's "America's Got Talent" Season 14 Kick-Off at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 11, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman seen leaving the Arts Club in Mayfair on February 04, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by GOR/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Simon Cowell seen leaving "Britain’s Got Talent" auditions on January 22, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Ricky Vigil/GC Images)
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - JANUARY 08: Simon Cowell seen getting on a jet ski on January 08, 2019 in Barbados, Caribbean. (Photo by Ian Lawrence/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman attend the Pride of Britain Awards 2018 at The Grosvenor House Hotel on October 29, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 17: Simon Cowell attends the 'America’s Got Talent: The Champions' Finale at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on October 17, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage,)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 10: Simon Cowell attends NBC's "America's Got Talent: The Champions" at Sheraton Pasadena Hotel on October 10, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images)
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT: THE CHAMPIONS -- "Champions One" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Carrie Underwood and Simon Cowell attend the ceremony honoring Carrie Underwood with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on September 20, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic,)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Simon Cowell attends "America's Got Talent" Season 13 Finale Live Show Red Carpet at the Dolby Theatre on September 19, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Simon Cowell attends T"America's Got Talent" Season 13 Live Show Red Carpet on September 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/GettyImages)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Simon Cowell arrives at the "America's Got Talent" Season 13 Live Show Red Carpet at Dolby Theatre on September 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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