Bosses call for A-level overhaul to boost economic growth

Michael Bow
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SECONDARY school education should move away from A levels towards a baccalaureate-type system geared towards the economic needs of the country, a major report out today says.

The overhaul, suggested by a panel including CBI president Sir Mike Rake and National Grid boss Steve Holliday, would replace what it calls the “narrow” focus of A levels with a broader range of study, including mandatory maths and english for all 16 to 18 year olds.

“It is very clear that our education system has failed to provide, in an increasingly competitive global world, the skills and competencies that are necessary for business and for the UK economy to succeed,” Rake said.

“It is therefore time to establish a cross-party apolitical approach to education to move on from our narrow out-dated focus with A-levels and to improve on the other competencies necessary for success.”

The report also calls for the creation of an independent body to help maintain cross-party stability in education policy and a national careers advice service aligned with government’s economic growth strategies.

The independent review, which was funded by education group Pearson, said the UK’s secondary education policy should be tied the long-term economic aspirations of the country rather than just university admissions.

“Successful businesses have clear objectives and goals which they pursue consistently over time, yet changes in government make it difficult to achieve this for education,” Sir Roy Anderson, chair of the group, said.

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