The national curriculum should finish at the age of 14, in order to give teenagers time to prepare for the work place, a report by the House of Lords has said.

According to the Committee on Social Mobility, young people should be able to choose before the age of 16 whether they want to pursue an academic or a vocational route beyond mainstream school, as the current system from 16-18 doesn’t recognise that “transitions to work take longer for some young people”.

The report suggested that this could help correct the historic “high drop out” rate from education post-GCSE, which according to a 2012 study from the OECD, saw the UK rank 26th out of 34 countries for participation rates at 17 (87 per cent, compared with the OECD average of 90 per cent).

It added that careers education should be present in school from the age of 11, warning that the current system for those who choose not to attend university was “complex and incoherent” leaving many young people “disengaged”.

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