Aside from a focus on the finer details of the economy, few things cause more debate in British politics than the education system. For year after year, record numbers of children aged between 16 and 18 years achieve top grades in their GCSE and A-level exams - nation exams set at 16 and 18 years-old - and yet universities complain about a lack of basic skills in large numbers when they begin their degrees.
With this tension between the two hierarchies of British education, it came as no surprise when one of the world's leading technological voices recently spoke out against the British system and how it fails to encourage innovation and creativity. Google chairman Eric Schmidt told the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August that Britain needs to "bring art and science back together" instead of splitting people into different groups.
While praising the UK's record for coming up with ideas, Schmidt criticised Britain for failing to take advantage of them on a "world scale". Where did he think it is going wrong?
"I was flabbergasted to learn that today computer science isn't even taught as standard in UK schools," he told the festival. "Your IT curriculum focuses on teaching how to use software, but gives no insight into how it's made."
Even without it being sewn in to the country's national curriculum, children are not being inspired to continue learning the subject when the decision is in their hands. Figures published by the Joint Council for Qualifications around the time of Schmidt's speech revealed a 1.8 per cent fall in the number of IT A-level applicants in 2011 compared to last year.
Upon completion, those who do continue to pursue their love of science, engineering and technology find a business environment that does not nurture ideas into reality.
"The UK does a great job of backing small firms and cottage industries, but there's little point getting a thousand seeds to sprout if they are then left to wither or transplanted overseas," Schmidt added.
With more than billion searches per day and more than 40 million users on its social networking platform, how can Britain learn from Schmidt and Google's past to help it encourage further technological and scientific creativity in the future?
The country's younger generation needs inspiration and figures to look up to as a new environment to spread their ideas. The government has already hinted it understands this. In November last year, ministers revealed plans to turn part of the London 2012 Olympic Village into a technological hub akin to California's very own Silicon Valley.
By bringing technological companies – including Google – together in a single environment, it is hoped the UK could begin to rival the US in innovating and putting ideas into production.
After all, Google itself was formed by two students of Stanford University – situated close to Silicon Valley. Success appears to breed success with Stanford's alumni also playing a part in the foundation of Yahoo!, Cisco and LinkedIn among others. Put like-minded people together and concepts become reality.
Google's experience in that could be crucial to the success of a similar hub in the UK. However, similar inspiration is required in schools to make sure children are not either put off from thinking creatively at an early age.
While the government dreams up Silicon Valley, it must come up with some ideas of its own for education.