Concern for workforce quality after new league tables show low school standards

Julian Harris
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BUSINESS leaders expressed concern at the standard of education yesterday, as figures revealed that one in six students failed to meet new “English baccalaureate” standards.

“This is very worrying and underlines the continuing need for radical reform in education,” said Miles Templeman of the Institute of Directors.

An estimated 216 state comprehensive schools are failing to meet the new government’s target, and face the risk of closure.

The new measures show how many pupils are gaining at least a C grade in GCSE English, mathematics, science, history or geography, and one foreign language.

The inclusion of a foreign language is an initiative by education secretary Michael Gove, as he hopes to spark a revival in language learning.

While over half of students achieve at least C grades in just English and mathematics, far fewer, 16 per cent, pass the wider measure.

“The coalition government has made a strong start in its education reform agenda with a welcome emphasis on teaching standards, the extension of autonomy, and improving attainment in the basics,” said Templeman.

“Today’s figures illustrate the scale of the challenge,” he added.