Here's a thought. The government wants to raise the school leaving age
. And lots of people have objections to the way young people are tested at school - see here
for how they could be orientated more towards future learning and here
for how they could reflect a wider range of skills. Could changing the school age open up the possibility of doing something radical with GCSEs? If people aren't leaving at 16 then why not do something interesting with testing at that age - getting rid of it, or adapting it so that it supports learning rather than just measures it?