Grim regime that forces up results

18th August 2006 at 01:00
Students no longer see school as a challenging, mind-enhancing place, but somewhere full of pressures where individuality is often stamped out, so that everyone will achieve the targets.

Creating enthusiasm for a subject is often bypassed in favour of the push towards a higher grade.

Pupils are seldom permitted to follow their own lines of thought as there is not enough time to teach them everything they need to know and allow them to question, explore and enjoy the subject.

It would be good if people noticed, amid all the talk of falling standards, that we are now seldom permitted to follow our own lines of thought but required to stick strictly to the syllabus.

Newspapers imply a "fail" is anything below an A; for most schools it is anything less than a C. Yet I thought that, to fail an A-level, a student needed to achieve less than an E grade.

The idea that A-levels are easier now than they were in the past really is unfounded. I would defy anyone who got an A grade 40 years ago to get the same today without two years' hard work.

It is true, however, that more A grades are being awarded. But perhaps critics should look at the statistics to see how many students get A grades at their first attempt.

Students who have finished their A-levels are sad to leave school but also relieved - having been told that, at university, no one will pressurise them to finish their work. Many will look forward to this, feeling that it will be the first time they can test their own motivation.

Elizabeth Burns is an A-level student

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now