The government says the move is a bid to end the “national scandal” of two in five teenagers leaving school without basic core skills.
The reforms begin this week and in 2015, the age of education participation will be moved to 18.
Education secretary Michael Gove said: “Good qualifications in English and maths are what employers demand before all others.”
In Scotland, standard grade exams will this year be replaced by the new National 4 and National 5 qualifications.
So, what do southsiders think?
James McAvoy (70), from Giffnock, said: “This would devalue the qualification. School is not for everybody, some should serve apprenticeships instead of staying in the classroom.”
Netherlee resident Audrey Kerr (61) agrees. She added: “If youngsters were forced to stay in school, they would rebel. Some people are just better suited to working, rather than the clasroom.”
Newton Mearns man Robert Young (60), said: “Pupils should only be allowed to sit their exams once — otherwise it it a completely waste of everybody’s time.”
And for 40-year-old Mitchel Henri, also from Newton Mearns, “sometimes there is no school better than the school of hard knocks.
“Traditional education can often suffocate creativity. Kids should follow their hearts.”