Teacher PointingAchieving the Impossible

It was reported in the Daily Mail (September 2, 2013) that this year Michael Gove is going to force teenagers who do not get at least a C in their English and maths GCSEs to continue studying the subjects until they are 17.

The proposal was first put forward by Alison Wolf, the Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at King's College London, in her 2011 review of vocational education. She announced that English and maths were the most important subjects in the world.

Gove apparently said: 'Good qualifications in English and maths are what employers demand before all others. They are the most important vocational skills a young person can have. Young people must be able to demonstrate their understanding of these subjects.'

Professor Wolf told the Mail she was 'delighted' to see her 'single most important' recommendation implemented. It will have a hugely positive impact on the ability of hundreds of thousands of young people to get good jobs,' she said. She does not seem to have explained where these hundreds of thousands of good jobs are to come from.

According to the Daily Mail the Department of Education has reported that virtually 90% of 19-year-olds had left school without a C or higher in both English and maths. The actual figure is approximately 38% – 285,000 out of 740,000 – but this is irrelevant. Gove's target appears to be reducing this 90% (or 38%) to 0%. In 2015 those who have failed to meet the criteria will have to stay at school until they are 18.

This is all so mad that it will probably never be implemented, and Gove will be forced to make another U-turn, but in case he needs to impose more impossible requirements, Lib Ed suggests that people should not be allowed to leave school until they meet the following criteria:

They must be five foot ten or taller.
Their IQ must be higher than 115.
They must be able to sing in tune.
They must be able to run 100 metres in less than 15 seconds.

If no one is ever allowed to leave school until they have fulfilled these requirements, the unemployment problem will be solved immediately.


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