A recent study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked English students aged 16-19 as the worst of 23 developed nations in literacy, and 22nd of the 23 in numeracy.

However, those of us who are already retired or approaching retirement were among the highest-ranked in both categories. Whilst this may not come as a surprise to those of us who have for a long time believed that educational standards in this country have been declining, the huge difference between today’s youth and us oldies is, frankly, staggering!

Whether or not we are right to do so, we trace the beginnings of this back to the 1960s and 70s, when traditional education methods were deemed to be inappropriate for the modern world, and ‘trendy’ new styles were adopted. This included the removal of most of the grammar schools in England, as these were seen as an outdated symbol of elitism.

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