The government has announced a major review of the national curriculum for 11-14-year-olds to boost their skills and make them more likely to get a job.
Teachers will be given more power to help children master the basics, while retaining core elements of the curriculum.
Education secretary Alan Johnson said: “The new draft curriculum is designed to create greater flexibility for schools so they can ensure pupils master the basics as well as offer more stretching opportunities for those who excel.
“More emphasis has been placed on developing in-depth understanding of the key ideas and practice of particular subjects. But crucially, it is balanced with the retention of tried and tested parts of the curriculum as well as giving young people better personal skills greatly valued by employers.”
Susan Anderson, CBI director of HR policy, said: “There needs to be a greater focus in schools and colleges on giving young people the real-world skills they need. Employers are crying out for numerate, literate and IT-savvy youngsters who can work as part of a team, make decisions and take on responsibility.
“At the moment though the education system is struggling to deliver. We hope the proposals will produce results which reflect these concerns.”
Some of the key changes include lessons in financial capability, learning about risk and reward and personal budgeting.