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Basic skills at forefront of policy review

2 September 2013

With the new school term starting this week, new policy announcements have been made to support the ongoing push for higher educational standards and increase the employability of school leavers. The requirement to be in education or training until 17 hits this September and will be further extended to 18 in 2015. A further change is the requirement to retake English and Maths GCSEs until a C grade is obtained which should ensure there is value in extending the duration of compulsory education. However, it’s unlikely to be a quick win given that 200,000 pupils leave without such qualifications annually.

The policies are common sense but there may be concerns about the timing of such announcements and the potential operational difficulties that may be caused as schools have to re-jig provision offered to fit in with the policy. A wider concern relates to other education policies and whether there is value in staying on until 17 when the school attended does not make adequate provision.

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