Friday, 28 August 2009

Round-Up: The Results Are In!

The second half of August is a defining time for students everywhere as they recieve confirmation of their achievements.

Missy33 remembers the excitement of her results day as filled with joy and trepidation. It was a pivotal time as she and her class-mates struck out into the big, wide world, but it also revives some poignant memories as long-time friends departed on their different paths.

Interestingly Paul Walter takes a side glance and points out that the current crop of school-leavers is the first to have been completely educated under a Labour regime.

The print media has filled its' pages with pictures of students, parents and teachers sharing in the emotional experience.

Here is a rundown of reports on GCSE results in each local authority area across Berkshire:-

Bracknell Forest
West Berkshire
Windsor & Maidenhead

BBC reports this 27th consecutive record-breaking year with Schools minister Vernon Coaker MP (Labour) describing the results as a measure of sustained progress in standards and the product of hard work.

Reading Executive member for Education Cllr John Hartley (Labour) noted the record achievement which continue the above-average trend as 'solid progress' and paid tribute "to the hard work of those involved."

West Berkshire Executive member for Children & Young People Cllr Barbara Alexander (Conservative) welcomed the 'best-ever' results in the area, noting particular improvements in schools where weaker results are the norm.

Bracknell Forest's Executive member for education, Cllr Alan Kendall (Conservative), was particularly pleased that the results matched last years record.

In the Royal Borough Of Windsor & Maidenhead executive member for children's services Cllr Eileen Quick (Conservative) also offered her congratulations and described the success of local students as "absolutely wonderful news."

However Maidenhead Conservative party member Right To Common Sense is less than overwhelmed by the value of the results system.

He says, "The whole point of them is to be able to spot who the top candidates are. The failure of the exam system to do this in itself fails the very best students" and therefore "devalues the achievements of previous generations." He goes on to call for a new 'gold-standard' in academic subjects.

Newsbiscuit provides the satire and offers a free downloadable GCSE certificate.

And amid all the praise for student success Slough LibDems offered the less pleasant reminder that there are still 3 million young people who leave school without 5 A-C grades.

Berkshire Chamber of Commerce joined in the debate about results to temper the emotional response by arguing the economic purpose of exams as a measure of employability has been undermined as they do not necessarily reflect skill levels.

Redlands LibDems have also been on the case noting recent figures for unemployment among 18-24yr olds is 16.6% - the highest for 15 years, which represents a massively disproportionate part of the total. Cllr Benson is scathing about the £1bn Westminster 'future Jobs Fund' initiative which proudly aims to create 150,000 new jobs for young people will aid only 6 local authority areas across the South East region and support 3,300 new work placements.


A-Level results quickly followed with another round of joyous congratulations.

Local schools in Reading and Wokingham repeated their feat of above median performance levels.

Providing a human interest angle BBC reports on the amazing story of Peter and Paula Imafidon, two eight-year-old twins attending Calcot Junior School, who passed the Univerity of Cambridge Advanced Mathematics A-Level (gaining a C and B grade respectively). They took part in an 'Excellence in Education' programme after their three older sisters had previously passed at a young age.

Meanwhile for anyone struggling with finding a place at university the national corporation provides a helpful guide to navigating the complex UCAS clearing system.
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks OP, a great summary.

    Is it just me or does A* sound like the old spinal tap joke about the amplifier that has volume knobs that go up to 11?


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