Opinion Former Article

NASUWT: Can A level students celebrate tomorrow without being undermined by serial gripers?


Commenting ahead of the publication of tomorrow’s A-level results, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Tomorrow’s results are the culmination of an immense amount of hard work by students and schools and for once it would be good if they could enjoy their success without the usual serial gripers seeking to undermine their achievements.

“This year’s results are being released against a backdrop of increasing attacks on our examinations system, with Ministers and commentators seeking to whip up a false crisis about ‘gold standard’ qualifications, grade inflation and dumbing down.

“Technical processes designed to ensure comparability of standards year-on- year have been trumped up as ‘a crackdown on easy A-levels’ when they are merely a legacy of a change in the exam specifications introduced in 2010.

“Such claims not only minimise the efforts of young people, they undermine their confidence and self-worth.

“The Coalition Government’s recent pronouncements on GCSEs and A-levels yet again demonstrate that its desire is not to raise standards, but to introduce an increasingly elitist system which strips away young people’s entitlement to a qualifications system which enables them to study a broad and balanced curriculum, opens the door to a wide range of career choices and options for further study and prepares them for life in the 21st century.

“Not content with the dismantling of the 14-19 education strategy, the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance and its damaging economic austerity policy which has led to record levels of youth unemployment, the Coalition Government adds to the burden on young people by diminishing their examination achievements.

“The disdain that the Coalition Government appears to demonstrate for our young people is nothing short of scandalous.”


Lena Davies
Journalist and acting press officer
Campaigns and Communications Team
0121 457 6250 / 07867 392 746

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