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The UK needs to cut out party politics if it is to improve education for young people and tackle the "unacceptably low level" of literacy and numeracy, a business leader has said in a report calling for A levels to be scrapped.
Sir Michael Rake, chairman of BT and president of business group CBI, said:
Sixth-form students would learn "softer skills" and keep their academic options open for longer if a baccalaureate replaced A levels, a report has said.
Education chiefs called for a wider baccalaureate to be brought in so 16-18-year-olds would cover languages, sciences and softer skills like teamwork.
The move would allow young people to keep their career options open and give them more opportunities later in life, the report argues.
The business leaders and academics behind the report said a baccalaureate, similar to the International Baccalaureate which teenagers take in mainland Europe, could also be used to teach students critical thinking and problem solving.
"In broad terms they are the skills that enable young people to face the demands of higher education and career challenges in a global and very competitive environment," the report said.