They said ..

4th January 2008 at 00:00
'Would be school-leavers will wreak havoc in state-school sixth forms' - The Express.

We say ...

The Express is not the only newspaper to be worried about the plans to raise the compulsory age of education to 18. It voices its fears more strongly than others, condemning the move as "a lunatic idea" which would force "would-be school leavers to be educational conscripts", bringing wild misbehaviour to the classroom.

But it misses a key point about the plan: the Government is not raising the school leaving age, but the age at which teenagers have to be in education or training. Only about 1 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds - some 20,000 teenagers - have not been in either for the long term.

Whether the sanctions will be enough to force them back into education is uncertain. But it is clear that they are unlikely to be placed in school sixth forms - further education colleges and companies are the institutions that can expect to bear the brunt. Government figures suggest there will be no increase in the numbers staying in school post-16.

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