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Some schools were too focused on gaining C grades, because it is this measure which counts in league tables, when pupils had the capacity to achieve a A* or A grades, Sir Michael Wilshaw told the Sunday Telegraph.
The report, which will take a representative sample of more than 50 secondary schools, will be published later this year.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools, told the Sunday Telegraph:
State schools are holding back some of the country's brightest pupils from reaching their full potential, the chief inspector of schools has warned.
Sir Michael Wilshaw has raised concerns that children who leave primary school with top grades are left to coast by some teachers when they reach secondary school.
He has ordered a "rapid response survey" to see how state schools teach the most able children, Sir Michael told The Sunday Telegraph.
It comes after new figures revealed last week that hundreds of schools failed to produce at least one pupil with good enough grades in academics subjects to enter elite universities.