John Caudwell, who sold his mobile phone business in 2006 for £1.5 billion says that strong A level results and a university place are not the be-all and end-all. Caudwell built his empire, growing it to more than 10,000 employees and £2.25 billion turnover but did not take A levels or go to university."Clearly, for certain people, further education is absolutely the way forward, certainly if you're going into a professional environment where you need those qualifications. It also gives them a chance to develop themselves emotionally and intellectually, and enhance their education at the same time," he said.
"But I don't think formal education necessarily plays any part in being a business success, in fact, possibly quite the reverse. I firmly believe that a challenging childhood that creates that drive, passion and desire to succeed is one of the strongest attributes to actually being successful.
"Of course, you do need to be intelligent, there's no getting away from that, but being intelligent doesn't mean you have to go to university; being in a vocational situation, being in an entrepreneurial environment, and pushing for success, might be a way better education for some people that spending five years on further education.”