Parents need to meddle, if we are to medal in 2016

A levels are out at last…how exciting!

Well maybe not as much as it was in my day, when everyone went back into school to see their results posted, catch up with friends, talk to teachers about the next steps…all sounds a bit Boys’ Own Paper or Jolly Hockey sticks compared with today.

I had reason to phone our local secondary schools a few weeks ago to see if I could post a notice for this year’s leavers and thought Results Day would be a good time to catch them…not happening I’m afraid. Recorded messages told me the schools won’t be manned again until September.

I’m guessing this is about keeping the results private, in the wake of our 1980s educational changes to ensure that nobody ever fails…something that I hope will be overturned if we are ever to prepare our youngsters for the real world and for working with others in a team.

That the “everyone wins” culture in state schools is bad for achievement is also supported by Bristol MP Charlotte Leslie.  She has joined the debate on why more medal winners are from private schools and whether it is the achievement-driven policy that works…she should know having had first-hand experience…and my belief is that you get what you pay for with a private education…longer hours, newer equipment, highly paid coaches, etc.

Encouragement to win is a big one and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour had Judy Murray on today talking about how parents could handle their child’s talent for sport and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s a bit easier if your parents are encouraging and can afford to buy you the kit.

But the Government appear to be actively discouraging sport in public sector education, still selling off playing fields despite the campaigns to stop the rot…
…while showing us that standards are improving? Yes, 98% of all marks today are passes this year.

On the subject of exam results in general, what on earth is a “CC” or a “D*D*D*” for goodness sake? How are employers like me who are a long time out of education to compare results?

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