The education system "should be reversed to conform to the learner, rather than the learner to the system", says a think-tank report.
Digital technology can provide more individualised learning, says report
The education secretary has called for a more "personalised" form of education in which pupils have lessons customised for their interests and aptitude.
The report from Demos and Nesta Futurelab says digital technology can help towards such a flexible system.
This will create more "empowered and engaged students", says the report.
The idea of personalisation has been promoted by the Education Secretary Ruth Kelly - encouraging schools to respond to the more individual needs of children.
This could mean making sure that there is sufficiently stretching lessons for gifted pupils and catch-up lessons for those falling behind.
And this would encourage schools to give pupils of all abilities greater flexibility over learning at their own pace - perhaps taking exams when they were able enough, rather than when they were old enough.
The report from Nesta Futurelab and Demos says pupils should be given support so that they can study more independently.
It challenges the current exam and testing structure - and instead says that schools should "embrace digital technology to enable learners to study and be assessed when and how it is most appropriate for them".
The report proposes a "learner's charter" which would give students the right to be taught as an individual and to have more responsibility for how they are taught.