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Brighter pupils should opt-out

CLEVER teenagers are being encouraged to opt out of lessons to enhance their employability and learn more about work, writes Clare Dean.

Schools standards minister Charles Clarke wants not just "less able" 14 and 15-year-olds to drop parts of the national curriculum at key stage four Almost 9,000 pupils - two-thirds of them boys - already take advantage of regulations that allows them to give up two subjects out of science, modern languages or design technology.

The Department for Education and Employment now anticipates expanding the scheme: A spokeswoman said it may be possible where "for example, a pupil might wish to concentrate on scientific areas while working towards a particular job."

The scheme was originally introduced last autumn to provide opportunities for potentially disaffected pupils or those who are falling behind in other subjects.

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