My eldest dauughter who has just finished her GCSEs came up with a good quote today apparently from her mate Dave. “More people climb Mt Everest every year, people aren’t saying that’s getting fecking easier”.
I think it neatly sums up the difficulty we have with the GCSE results. In the case of Everest new equipment and better preparation mean that more and more people are able to stand on top the roof top of world. Why is it that people (mainly the right-wing media) can’t except that the GCSE results are not down to similar factors?
I’m a governor at a local high school and a local primary school, and I have see how much hard work and dedication goes into to teaching the children. Their methods of tracking attainment and improvement, over time, are getting increasingly complex and effective. With the valuable data this provides, the management teams can quickly identify problems and take remedial action if necessary. In my own experience with my own daughters the teaching in most cases is inspiring and engaging. When I look back to my days at school lessons turgid and boring come to mind. Teachers are just better trained and better prepared than the generation that taught me.
When I take all this into account it doesn’t surprise me that the GCSE results are better every year. As Alistair Campbell said in a tweet on the day of the results, much of the negative coverage is from editors whose children go to Eton. I think if I was spending tens of thousands of pounds on my children’s education I think I might be quite angry that I could have got as good an education for free. See this link http://www.thetruthaboutourschools.com/2010/08/26/guess-what-the-state-sector-is-closing-the-gap/ for even more unsettling figures for those who somehow state education is no good.
Now my daughter is off to Winstanley College the top sixth form college in the country. Where she will continue to get a fantastic state education.