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Pupils' hard work merits distinction

I WAS extremely concerned to receive a letter from the examination board AQA saying that the Certificate of Achievement in English had changed its name to Entry Level Certificate. No longer would candidates receive a final certificate with distinction or merit on it; instead their certificate would merely say entry 3 or entry 2.

I understand that qualifications are being compared to each other and that entry 3 refers to national curriculum level 3. However, as far as pupils are concerned, the Certificate of Achievement meant just that - a real achievement for some pupils who had failed again and again in school and were unlikely to gain any GCSE results.

How can teachers motivate pupils who truant, who are dyslexic and have low self-esteem, to gain a certificate that just says entry 3 on it after two years' hard work?

Christine Carney Teacher of English and special needs R Evans Headteacher King Egbert School, Sheffield

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