Sir Michael Rake, chairman of BT and president of business group CBI, said:
Over the last 25 years and longer there have been multiple initiatives from different Secretaries of State which have not achieved the necessary improvement in educational standards.
It is therefore time to establish a cross-party apolitical approach to education to move on from our narrow out-dated focus with A-levels and to improve on the other competencies necessary for success including the fundamental need to improve the basic skills of literacy and numeracy which are at an unacceptably low level.
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.
These are the top 10 schools in England for A/As Level ranked by the average points score per student. For example, an A-level grade A* scores 300 points, an A scores 270 points, a B scores 240 points, a C scores 210.
Colchester Royal Grammar School, Essex
King's College School, Merton
Sevenoaks School, Kent
Adcote School for Girls, Shropshire
King Edward VI Grammar School, Essex
Pate's Grammar School, Cheltenham
Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Trafford
The Lady Eleanor Holles School, Richmond-Upon-Thames
King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys, Birmingham
100% of pupils at the following schools in England had pupils with five good GCSEs (five A*-C passes). The average GCSE point score per pupil ranges from 816.3 at Colyton Grammar School to 684.1 in the tenth ranked school in Headington.
Colyton Grammar School, Devon
The Rochester Grammar School, Medway
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, Birmingham