§ John Healey
We have already achieved our target for 2002 for 50 per cent. of pupils to achieve five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C (or equivalent). On current trends the target of 85 per cent. of 19-year- olds achieving a Level 2 qualification by 2002, set in 1998 with advice from the National Advisory Council for Education and Training Targets, is unlikely to be reached. We are working closely with the Learning and Skills Council to ensure maximum progress is being made by implementing specific local and innovative approaches to improving level 2 attainment. The Government are introducing a range of new initiatives which will increase participation in learning and attainment by young people post 16 including Education Maintenance Allowances, Connexions and the reforms to the 14–19 curriculum published in the Green Paper (14–19—Extending Opportunities; Raising Standards) though these will not impact by 2002.