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A-levels case study: Geoff Barton is both headteacher and anxious parent this results day

15:29 14 August 2014

A-level results day at Kind Edward VI School. Headteacher Geoff Barton with son Matt Barton after opening his results.

A-level results day at Kind Edward VI School. Headteacher Geoff Barton with son Matt Barton after opening his results.

For one headteacher A-level results day at his school was particularly nerve-wracking as his own son was picking up his brown envelope.

Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, said this year he had been able to see the day “through the parents’ eyes”.

Mr Barton knew Matt’s results the day before, and was unsure whether his son had got into Exeter University, but kept this knowledge to himself.

The 18-year-old had achieved the right points score, but the combination of grades was different to expected.

However, Matt, a keen sportsman, pulled it off, and will embark on a sport and exercise science degree.

“I’m glad to be going to Exeter to be honest, to have gotten the grades,” he said.

Matt, who achieved an A* for PE and Bs in biology and maths, was sportsman of the year at King Edward’s this year, as chosen by the PE team.

He has played a range of sports, but particularly excels at windsurfing, and is in the top five in this discipline in the UK. His passion for windsurfing formed part of his decision to be based in Exeter for his degree.

His father said he had been particularly worried about whether Matt had been accepted at Exeter as he did not have a back-up plan.

“It all came together so it’s been fine,” he said.

Mr Barton’s son Nick also studied at King Edward’s and went onto university.

“I feel incredibly proud of how the boys have done, but I feel proud it’s this school that has given them so much character,” Mr Barton said. “For me it’s the end of an era; you kind of look at the school always through the eyes of your children.”

Matt said being at the same school as his father had been “fine”.

“Everyone has been so nice and everyone has been so great about it. I don’t really see him. We just nod in the corridor,” he said.

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