"Sixth-formers can be the worst behaved students in school. Everything changes in sixth form. You have your own common room, pool table, free periods, and some students find it difficult to embrace all this. If they've used their free periods for time out under the present A-level system, by Christmas they've done hardly any work and they're in trouble and starting to panic. If you don't feel on top of things, that lowers your motivation.
"Teachers have to act quickly to bring the support back in, to make students see they can claw their way back. I am lucky because my parents want for me what I want, but it must be horrible to feel you constantly have to strive for something you cannot achieve. Students under that kind of pressure do sometimes create a stink; they rebel, because they want people to know they are unhappy."