The poor skills levels of school leavers is a national problem with “no silver bullet”, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has said.
The CIPD said it supported education secretary
recommendation that the school leaving age in England should be raised from 16 to 18 by 2013, but believes it would put a great burden on schools.
Martyn Sloman, CIPD adviser for learning, training and development, told Personnel Today: “Schools would have more pupils who would prefer not to be there. They would have to manage [more] absence, truancy and negative, disruptive behaviour in the classroom. Teaching bright children who are motivated is easy, but dealing with the non-motivated is hard work and requires a lot of resources.”
But Sloman said that schools had to carry responsibility for giving people the tools to succeed at work.
“Employers expect school leavers to be equipped with basic skills when they arrive at a job,” he said. “It is up to schools to ensure that leavers have the correct training.”
This follows a Learning and Skills Network survey, which found that seven in 10 parents supported raising the school-leaving age to 18.
The survey also revealed scepticism from parents, as most were not convinced that all teenagers would comply with the change.