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Do schools need to be better at providing opportunities for some young people?

Edit: This post was originally called 'why schools should be more like parents.' In discussion with a couple of people on Twitter (that doesn't include some bloke named Andrew), I saw that the focus on parents wasn't helpful. I still maintain that schools need to provide opportunities for some young people who may not have these available to them at home. That sad thing is that, as expected, some readers assumed that I take a one size fits all approach. 
I find it interesting that some would argue that schools need to stop providing opportunities beyond examinations for young people  and just get young people.  These people, to me, are bonkers and have no appreciation of the wider role of education. By acting as 'parents' I mean schools ensuring that the small number of students who may miss out on opportunities get them. I don't expect it to be teachers doing this role.
Take myself as an example.  School mostly failed me.  School didn't give me what I needed for success.  Sure, I got qualifications and I had a supportive Mam, but what I also needed was a guide to getting out of deprivation  
This was supplied though the Air Cadets and a few teachers, like Mr Carter. I remember my old geography teacher well, especially the bollocking he gave me for missing two weeks of A'Levels so that I could learn how to fly.  He ripped me apart with question after question.  Similarly, when I achieved a B Grade at A'Level Geography and remarked (quite uncharacteristicly full of arrogance ;-) to Mr Carter when he said I should have gotten an A, 'But I got what I needed to get in to Exeter.'  I saw anything else as a waste of effort.  I see now that he was trying to tell me that, if I had applied myself, I could have been great.
Air Cadets taught me a lot and I owe John Evans, the former Commanding Officer, a great debt of gratitude.  I was shy (still am....ish) so he forced me to speak in front of people.  I was rubbish at networking (still am) so he forced me to meet people and teach adults how to fire rifles.  I lead teams of people through tough adventure training courses and learnt a lot about people.
My point? I owe where I am now not to the school but to an individual teachers and a voluntary organisation. I have qualifications, but that's not what got me to be socially mobile.
Of course, many young people have excellent role models and opportunities at home.  however, for others, those opportunities aren't there.  Schools therefore have to be more than institutions that churn out results.  That breeds an attitude that is centred around accountability instead of caring about young people.  What's the point of getting young people a qualification, if they then drop out of college or cant't get a job?
I'm not talking about teaching character, that's not possible, but we can provide the opportunities for character to be developed.
Schools need to become better at providing a wider range of opportunities  for some children and (re)ignite their intellectual curiosity and passion for learning as well as ensuring they have the right qualifications.
How many of the young people you teach can greet someone appropriately?
How many feel proud of anything?
Not everyone is like me, but then not everyone is like you either.


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