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The A level blues.

No, not the term for my pout when Carter decides anal is not on the menu but the annual summer torture that is the release of A level results. A levels, for those unfamiliar with the british education system are a strange bastard of a qualification left over from exams meant to determine who was intelligent enough to spend 3 years clutching a teddy bear at Oxbridge. This apparently makes them the gold standard of examinations.

It might be expected for me to go into a rant about how they are getting easier, or dont prepare teenagers for work (as if the sole point of education is to produce out drones ready to sell their bodies to capitalism) Alternatively I might have my own pet examination I want to promote, the IB seems to have lots of fans, usually it seems simply because it is not the exam offered in the UK.

The final obligatory reaction seems to be to tell young people that in the long run A levels dont matter. “I dont even remember what I got” says the man with a mortgage and a good job in marketing. “I never went to university and it did me no harm” says the woman who could sign on and get development loans while she started her own business.

Today young people are getting the results to an examination they have been told is the most important they will ever take. They will have worked towards it for 2 years, every teacher reinforcing how much it matters. Some will have self harmed, self medicated, some wont even make it. To suddenly turn round and say it doesnt matter after all is callous in the extreme.

Let today be a day of celebration, and support for those who did not get the results they hoped for. Let today be a day for empathy, for saying well done, and accepting how young people feel about their exams on their own terms.


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This entry was posted on August 13, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , .

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