Suffolk/Essex: Wait is over for GCSE students

AN ANXIOUS wait for students across Suffolk and Essex - and the country - is over today as they collect their GCSE results.

Some will be pleasantly surprised, others disappointed and there will be those who will see the grades they expected when they open their eagerly-anticipated results.

Last year, Suffolk’s 7,600 students saw another year-on-year rise in results, with the number of pupils securing five A* to C grades rising by 4% compared to the previous year, to 56%, while dozens of schools reported record-breaking results.

Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) education policy adviser Adrian Prandle said: “We hope thousands of students get the results they want and can celebrate two years of hard work.

“However, ATL urges the Government not to blunder around chopping and changing exams in isolation from the curriculum and without taking account of all the evidence and research.

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“It would be a dreadful mistake to return to a two-tier system with revamped O-levels and CSEs.

“The real issue is not whether one set of exams has more robust grades than another; it is that the whole exam system is not fit for purpose.

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“It fails the majority of students - both those who get top GCSE grades and those who do not achieve any despite working hard - because the current system denies them the chance to acquire the full range of knowledge and skills they need for their future lives. It leaves many students bored and disengaged and demoralises others.”

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said it is “morally wrong” to undermine teenagers’ GCSE efforts with talk that the exams are too easy.

“I think we’ve got to be very careful with the message we send out about quality, it’s potentially very dangerous to undermine confidence in the system,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is children are working extremely hard and teachers are working extremely hard to get them through exams.

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