27 August 2007
The argument is unlikely to go away any time soon - ‘exams were much harder in my day, try doing O Levels, what’s the point of A* grades, etc.’
With the national A level pass rate rising for the twenty fifth year in succession and with over twenty five per cent of exams judged A grade for the first time, the division between those who argue teaching is improving and those who claim standards are falling looks set to become a permanent faultline.
Whatever your opinion, it’s hard to hear about the achievements of some local students and come away with nothing less than heartfelt admiration. And whilst the local private schools have done spectacularly, (89 per cent of Dulwich College achieving A and B grades, James Allen’s Girls’ School achieving an incredible 96 per cent, including Charlotte Thomas with seven A grades), it’s the state schools that appear to have bucked the national trend.
For, whilst the pass rates have risen nationally, the gap across the country between private and state schools has widened. But with a five per cent rise on last year’s results, Charter, St Saviour’s & St Olave’s and Archbishop Michael Ramsey have made huge strides. It is to be hoped that the other Southwark chools, whose results are not yet in, will follow suit.
A couple of stories really stand out - St Saviour’s student Cece Watson overcame the pain of rheumatoid arthritis to win a place at her chosen university. Her peer Lisa Bower obtained perfect results. Edwin Magombe is the first pupil from Bacon’s College to win a place at Oxford University and scored the best English Language mark in the whole country.
So far, so very good. Here’s hoping today’s GCSE results are equally impressive.
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