Magazine article Public Finance

Johnson Defends Enforced Schooling Up to 18

Magazine article Public Finance

Johnson Defends Enforced Schooling Up to 18

Article excerpt

Education Secretary Alan Johnson has defended controversial proposals to force young people to stay in education until the age of 18.

Appearing in front of the Commons' education and skills select committee on April 18, Johnson said he was 'not going to chain children to the desk doing quadratic equations', and that attendance orders would be issued only as a measure of last resort.

A green paper, published last month, drew criticism that criminalising young people who refused to participate in post-16 education and training would be counter-productive.

But Johnson said it was increasingly important for people to stay on in education as the number of jobs available for the unskilled dwindled. He added that there was a need for a 'genuine debate' about the best tactics that could be employed to engage young people who felt disaffected with education. …

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