Abstracts: November 25th, 2002

By Conor RyanThe pamphlet recognizes recent improvements in education but highlights weaknesses. A quarter of children are unable to read and write adequately, there are problems with much teacher training, vocational education is still poor and there are still too many poor schools. Addressing the failure of schools requires radical reform and concrete change. Among the reform measures advocated in the pamphlet are investment in a rapid expansion of the Graduate Teaching Programme so that in-school training becomes the norm, rather than the exception. Radical reform of vocational education with apprenticeships starting at age 14 with programmes designed by employers. Schools not reaching exam performance targets in 2005 and 2006 should be closed. The private and voluntary sector should be encouraged to get involved.

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