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Andy Walker

Education; a Grocer's View

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Employers are left to bear the brunt of "woefully low" standards in schools, Tesco's chief executive has said.

Speaking to a meeting of members of the grocery industry, Sir Terry Leahy said money pumped into the education system had produced no improvement.

The businessman was previously on the Government's National Council for Educational Excellence, but left earlier this year.

He told the IGD Convention: "One area that Tesco is particularly concerned about is education. As the largest private employer in the country, we depend on high standards in our schools. As today's schoolchildren are tomorrow's team, they will be the ones we need to help build our business.

"Sadly, despite all the money that has been spent, standards are still woefully low in too many schools. Employers like us, and I suspect many of you, are often left to pick up the pieces."

He said the system was crippled by bureaucracy which distracted teachers from the primary purpose of their jobs.

At the same event, Asda's chief operating officer Andy Clarke also laid into the school system, and the chain's own customers.

According to The Times, he said: "No-one can deny that Britain has spawned a generation of young people who struggle to read, write or do simple maths.

"That's why we're finding packs of nappies discarded in the booze aisle as the last few pounds are spent on alcohol rather than childcare."

The Government insisted that the quality of education in state schools was high. A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "Standards have never been higher in our secondary schools."

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The Government insisted that the quality of education in state schools was high. A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "Standards have never been higher in our secondary schools."

Spin! Spin! Spin! No different here in Oz. Many, many children are not achieving optimal standards in literacy/numeracy despite the money put in and the new methods/strategies employed. Why?

Could we come up with an agreed list of the causes/problems and sort the ones that schools may be able to fix from those they can't?

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