May 25, 2016

We live in interesting times and the start of a new school year is always a busy, interesting, stressful, boisterous time for all.

I love College occupied with students as it gives the place “soul”. There’s a buzz, a noise and there’s something cathartic (well, for me anyway) about educating students in our ways (yes, you do have to register; no, you cannot use that entrance as you might get run over and so on). I know: I need to get a life and senility in retirement is highly likely.

We return after an excellent summer’s examination results (56% A and A* at A2 level this year, up from 2014) and more importantly that our students have got places at their choice of university. To my mind this is actually the most important consequence of exam results as they are surely a means to an end, not just an end in themselves for the (wretched) league tables.

Two things spring to mind here. The first is my (rather sad) amusement at exam results time where we see in the press pictures of happy smiling students, often female, jumping for joy clutching their results sheet; this is usually accompanied by the utterly platitudinous comments from the Head/Principal saying how it is a day of celebration reflecting hard work of students (or staff) , professionalism of staff, dedication of students (or staff) and so on. I long for the day when one Head will actually say how some poor results are a true reflection of the indolence of the students concerned.

The second thing is the league table question and two things arise out the exams. It is easy to manipulate the tables, actually. Some Schools/Colleges will not allow students to sit papers if they are going to do badly, or if a student insists on sitting a subject, then they have to sit the exam at another centre. Sadly we have seen here at CTC a number of AS students over the last three weeks or so who have not done so well in their AS exams; as a consequence, their schools have not offered them places for A2 level. This is not because they are “trouble” or lazy or whatever, but because their potential future results might harm the overall stats, and thus league table position, of the school. This is simply appalling. Is this what we have really come to?

Anyway, I start the new year in optimistic mood. We have a huge amount going on here and students keen to do well and make the most of their time with us at CTC. Long may this last! I wish all a good year ahead.

Musings from CTC-We live in interesting times……Posted on September 16, 2015 by judylowe

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