The Telegraph reports that an inquiry by Cambridge University has found that a failure to teach children the three Rs - literacy and numeracy - is hurting economic productivity. They found that there was a significant productivity gap between the UK and France, with 30 per cent higher productivity, and Germany and the US, with 10 per cent higher productivity. A large measure of this difference is attributed to skills shortages in the UK. The continuing failure of politically managed public services is undermining our economic competitiveness.
The recommendations in the report are dissapointing. Instead of looking at how standards can be improved across the education system they prefer to launch another attack on middle class parents looking for a good education for their children. If we can get more, rather than less, educational freedom then the standards of all schools can be improved - this has been seen in Sweden with its school voucher system that forced poor performing schools to up their game.