* Although schools are raising standards for pupils betwween 4 and 19, a vast tail of under-achievement has been virtually untouched - what David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education, described as "the lost generation".
* More people are achieving foundation and advanced-level qualifications and degrees than ever before, but our competitors are moving faster
* More than 1 million people have never worked for a significant length of time but have moved from unemployment to different government training schemes for up to 15 years
* Figures from the National Advisory Council on Education and Training Targets show that levels ofachievement inprosperous central and southern England exceed targets. In disadvantaged inner-city and older industrial areas, they are well below
* Student achievement levels are less influenced by disadvantage and spending levels than by strengths of leadership, management and the quality of teaching