Spain should raise the school-leaving age

Sir, Spain certainly needs to improve its education system (“Recovery position”, The Big Read, October 23). The early school-leaving rate hit 31 per cent in 2009, more than double the EU average, just as the country entered a deep and prolonged recession.

Students who dropped out flocked to work in the oversized construction sector. They were the first to lose their jobs and are poorly qualified. Today the rate is down to 22 per cent, still way too high. A much more knowledge-based economy remains a pipe dream until the rate is down to single figures. It would make eminent sense to raise the school-leaving age from 16 to 18.