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They said... we say...

they said...

'Basic literacy and numeracy problems are a nightmare'

Richard Lambert, director general of the Confederation of British Industry

we say...

THE CBI gained publicity by complaining, again, that many teenagers are leaving school unable to read or write. To prove the point, in a poll of 507 firms, 13 per cent said they offered remedial literacy classes.

Curiously, the CBI made little mention of the findings from a similar poll it published during GCSE week last year. It found that 16 per cent of businesses offered remedial classes in literacy.

So, if the figures give an accurate picture, the number of firms needing to provide catch-up courses in reading and writing has dropped by nearly a fifth in just one year, which should be cause for celebration rather than hand wringing.

There is less positive news for maths teachers, however. The proportion of companies offering maths tuition has indeed increased from 14 to 15 per cent.

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