Fact file 1: the challenge facing britain

13th June 1997 at 01:00
The scale of the challenge facing the UK in its drive to be competitive is illustrated by the following facts: * Just 34 per cent of school leavers reach higher education compared with 45 per cent in the USA, 65 per cent in Germany and 70 per cent in Japan

* The recent National Commission on Education concluded that the majority of young people in the UK under-achieve and a significant minority fail

* One in four 19-year-olds are classified as functionally illiterate, facing virtually life-time unemployment within the legal economy. The cost to business is Pounds 10 billion - a third of the annual training bill

* By the year 2000 half of all new jobs will require degree-level education followed by frequent retraining to improve skills

* Post-16 stay-on rates have risen rapidly to 75 per cent - partly because of unemployment, but Britain still ranks 15 out of 19 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Devel-opment) countries with 17-year-olds in education

* In maths and science our top 5 per cent are among the world leaders at 9 -13, but the least able 50 per cent trail international competitors including South Korea, Hungary and China

Source: OECD

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now