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Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said the number of children that fail to achieve a C grade in maths and English is "scandalous".
A Government plan to make over-16s who fail maths and English GCSEs continue studying the subjects received a lukewarm response from many readers on the ITV News Facebook page.
Sam Clarkson said the qualifications were not essential for everyone, writing:
Emma Carver agreed that some children were simply not cut out for academia, despite its importance, saying:
However, Vicki Pellatt backed the Government plan - providing there was sufficient funding for it:
The head of the headteachers' union has raised "serious concerns" about government plans to force GCSE students who achieve less than grade C in maths and English to resit.
Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said:
Teenagers without C grades or higher in English and Maths will have to study for GCSEs in the subjects, but will be allowed to take other qualifications alongside them, said the Department for Education.
The English and Maths results of 16-19-year-olds who did not gain these key GCSEs will also be reported in annual school league tables, the department said.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said it was in the older teenagers best interest to remain in education to attain C grades, even if they were old enough to legally finish school.
According to the Department of Education, last year in England and Wales:
- Among 19-year-olds, 285,000 left school at age 16 without a C or higher in both English and Maths GCSE.
- 255,000 had still not achieved their C grade in those two subjects by the time they reached 19.
- Only one fifth of teenagers (21%) who had not reached a C grade continued to study English, while 23% continued to pursue Maths.
Teenagers who fail to get at least a C grade in their English and maths GCSEs will have to continue studying these subjects past the age of 16, ministers have announced.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said employers value good grades in these subjects above all others and that they are the "most important vocational skills a young person can have".
The reform will be introduced from the start of this term and comes as the education participation age is raised to 17, before being raised to 18 in 2015.
Currently only around one in five pupils who do not get A-C grades continue studying these subjects beyond the age of 16, according to the Department for Education.