Bosses repeat annual plea for higher educational standards

UK bosses have made their perennial call for the government to focus on English and maths standards ‘like a laser beam’, ahead of tomorrow’s expected GCSE results.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) said its members were crying out for an improvement in basic skills among job applicants.

Recently published national test results for 11-year-olds show that one in five failed to reach the standard expected of them in English and one in four did not reach the standard expected of them in mathematics.

Only 44% of pupils taking the exams for the first time achieved grades A*-C in English and mathematics in 2003-04.

Richard Wilson, head of business policy at the IoD, said: “The starting point for employers recruiting staff is surely to have access to candidates with basic literacy and numeracy skills. We are not there yet.

“If individuals lack these skills, workplace training and development or progression into further and higher education becomes much more difficult,” he said.

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