The Independent reports that the Lib Dems are predicting the number of pupils leaving school without five good GCSEs since Labour came to power will top three million when the results are announced later this week.
The figure that really shocks me is that last year 230,140 teenagers went out of the school gates without getting these grades. This amounts to just over 35%, or more than a third.
The figure for those children gaining a grade D or below in English or maths is even worse. The Prince's Trust thinks the figure is likely to be near 50% this year. (It was 47% last year.)
It's more party political point scoring of course but the Lib Dems are dead right about one thing: unless you get the basics right early on, this is where it leads.