Exams submerge Glastonbury
TEENAGERS who plan to celebrate the end of their exams dancing in a world of tepees, trench foot and torrential rain at Europe's biggest music festival may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Hundreds of students who are eagerly anticipating joining Glastonbury's 30th birthday celebrations, starting on June 23, may have to spend the weekend indoors with their books.
Enhancing their aura, finding their tent and queuing for the toilet will be the last thing on their minds as they struggle with lastminute A-level revision.
English, geography and business studies A-level students will be the biggest casualties of a quirk of the timetable which has scheduled their exams either side of the longest-running music festival in Europe.
The last week of the exams is normally the preserve of small-
entry subjects and S-levels. But, to the horror of would-be festival-goers this year, English literature and media Studies A-levels are scheduled for the day after Glastonbury. Geographers and business students fare a little better - their exams clash with the first day. The chat boards of the festival's website are already filling up with complaints from disgruntled students.
Claire Bangs, 18, an Alevel student at Orpington College, is reluctantly missing Glastonbury to revise for two exams on the day after the festival. She said: "I am very upset to miss it because I was planning to go with all my friends and had been looking forward to it. It would have been a great way to end the year."
A spokesman for the Oxford and Cambridge exam board said: "It is just an accident of the calendar that this year the English literature exam is just after Glastonbury.
"The one question I cannot answer is which is the better preparation for university life - Glastonbury or English A-level."
Media studies, pure maths, English language, English literature philosophy and statistics A-levels are among the exams scheduled for the day after the festival.
But students who get left behind as their classmates set off for Somerset may be able to enjoy some festivities on the Internet.
Virtual-Glastonbury.com plans to provide some of the sights and sounds of the festival, through an Internet link www.virtual-glastonbury.com
Jason Holmes, spokesman for the festival organisers, said: "The festival has always been on the third weekend of June to be near the solstice and to take advantage of the longest day of the year.
"A-levels are important but Glastonbury is an education in itself, so the choice is theirs."