UK school leavers not capable of work

| 08/04/2011

(Daily Mail): Firms are spending billions on remedial training for school leavers who are not capable of work, a business leader said yesterday. In a scathing attack on Labour’s legacy, he said the youngsters are the victims of an ‘education failure’, and called for the urgent return of grammar schools. The comments by David Frost, the outgoing director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, came on the day teachers at one secondary school went on strike in protest over their uncontrollable pupils. At another, a headmistress exasperated with slovenly standards of behaviour and continual fiddling with electronic gadgets, handed out more than 700 detentions in four days.

Both cases highlight acrisis in discipline which many believe has contributed to a drop in attainment by many children. Frost, who speaks for more than 100,000 British businesses, told the BCC annual conference in London:

‘Despite the billions that have been spent over the last decade, business relentlessly bemoans the lack of skills available. What they are really describing is a failure of the education system. A system where half of all kids fail to get five decent GCSEs simply means that five years later we spend billions offering them remedial training to make them work-ready.’

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The reference to a call for the return of grammar schools is spot on.The ‘one size fits all’ education system the UK has struggled with for years doesn’t work because in bad schools everyone gets dragged down to the lowest level. With many areas now having a majority of the population that do not even speak English that level can be very low. 

    But the other problem is the removal of the concept of ‘fail’ in the exam system and the downgrading of GCSE standards to the point where teenagers can get impressive paper qualifications despite the fact that they are still unable to read, write or do maths properly.

    And it goes all the way up the education system. I am now dealing with people who have degrees but whose command of English falls short of the basic civil service entry requirements.