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Yes, children are smarter

Exams are no easier now than they used to be, if the outcome of a reality television show is to be believed.

Smarter than your kids?, broadcast last week on ITV, pitched a group of parents against their children in a battle to gain a string of GCSEs, and was featured in last week's TES.

The children tackled between seven and 10 GCSEs each, while their parents, who were aged from 33 to 51, took two, three or four. Most of the teenagers gained higher grades and endured fewer exam failures than their parents.

Debbie Sadler, 46, a public relations executive from Cheshire, was seen by viewers jetting off on a skiing holiday rather than revising.

She still managed grade Ds in English and food technology, but her daughter, Brooke, was the highest-scoring of the children, gaining nine starred grade As and a further A.

Tammy Evans, a hairdresser who had left school at 15 with no qualifications, did well with a B, two Cs and an E, outperforming her husband Dennis, who gained three Es, and comparable to her daughter Mikayla, with a B, a C, two Ds, two Es and an F.

She said: "I think there are now more opportunities for children. When I was in school, we were given little direction and were often left to our own devices."

The adults all had five months of evening lessons with tutors.

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