Learning, not school

January 24, 2008

It was disappointing that Alan Ryan wrote that "we propose to keep everyone at school until they are 18" ("Requiem for lost optimism", 10 January).

There is no such proposal. There is a proposal to make some form of planned learning compulsory for 16 to 18-year-olds including employer-provided learning.

Such a proposal was first made 100 years ago this year by Winston Churchill in a letter to Prime Minister Herbert Asquith after consulting the trade unions. Ninety years ago it was incorporated in the Fisher Education Act; the mills of education grind exceeding slowly.

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