Monday 17 August 2020

Will No-one Think Of The Children?

Mrs Banks asked this of her seemingly perfect nanny, Mary Poppins - and Helen Lovejoy [the Pastor's wife] said it in the Simpsons. And now I am saying it too. The Government has created a total and utter fiasco. I have spent over 60 years in the education system, as a student, and as a professional. I have seen some appalling government decisions, affecting the lives and careers of dozens of people. But this current state of affairs is awful, by far the worst time to be at school - whether staff or student. 

I feel so desperately sad for young people working conscientiously to become doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers,vets... all on course for their chosen profession - and with predicted grades recognising their abilities, and university places offered on that basis. And 25000 of them have been given new grades, falling 2 or more places below those predictions.This ridiculous algorithm for the A level results is obviously skewed. If you are an extremely bright pupil, in a school not known for producing genius kids, you're stuffed, mate.

And the universities don't know what to do - their funding is affected by which/how many students they take. So they cannot just say "come anyway" or they may face financial penalties they can ill afford. And just don't get me started on the Brexit/Erasmus disaster.

Right now, my own children are beyond A levels, and my grandchildren too young for school. But this weekend has had a significant impact on our family nonetheless. The majority of University Staff are still working from home, and now the workload has changed and increased significantly. So Bob will finish his holiday and drive back to Dorset without me - and Rosie will be coming back to Grandma's Nursery School for another fortnight.

We are fortunate to have this option - so many families, already struggling, have been torn apart over the past few days. My thoughts and prayers are with them, and their teachers.


  1. I would rather trust the teachers' predictions than any scheme dreamed up by the elitist tossers that form our government and whose track record for getting things wrong then blaming someone else for the fallout is extraordinary.

    1. Well said Jean. This is an outrage. In one breath the gov. Tell us how important education is and the next they do this. The teacher predictions should be taken, alongside mock results for clarity. Most A level students, by the time Lockdown happened, will have completed their studies and have been revising, with the exception of practical subjects (which are always centre assessed anyway). So teacher predictions should be right. I fear for next years cohort too as they are the students who have missed significant teaching time, especially at GCSE level. Oh and I just can't wait to see what wonders will happen on Thursday for the GCSE results.

    2. My feeling is that if students are graded too highly their shortcomings will come out in the wash later on and they will find their own level.
      If they are slapped down wrongly at this stage it will be nigh on impossible for many of them to make up the difference at all and will trash their prospects for ever.
      Shame on you Boris Johnson for what is the biggest blow to equality in education ever. You're all empty words and bluster.

  2. Things are in a bit of a mess, here, too, when it comes to reopening schools and colleges, etc. It might be selfish of me, but, I am glad my child is done with her education! I'm sure Rosie is looking forward to Grandma's Nursery School. :)

  3. How on earth have all these so called experts got it wrong for so many 18 year olds. And then GCSE's results - it will be chaos for teachers for the next few weeks. Crazy situation

  4. John Swinney, the Scottish Education Minister was forced to make a u-turn last week when the exams fiasco raised its ugly head here. Nicola Sturgeon, love her or hate her, gave it her full backing. I don't think anyone in Westminster would have the guts to do the same thing. We can only hope.

  5. I've been reading about this UK issue and have to say - it really is a bit of a mess! Actually, I've been rather shocked all through the worst of this pandemic in the confusing and conflicting messages coming from the UK - and the lack of compliance by so many people (although to be fair, the constantly changing messaging hasn't helped). I feel very sorry for these children and the extra work and stress this will make for the teachers.
    It is truly a blessing that you are able to provide care for Rosie - this is the issue that so many parents & grandparents are facing right now - a couple of my friends have been pressed into family service already and others are looking at assisting with tutoring options comes Sept.
    Good luck.

  6. I cant imagine a more distressing situation. Our so called Govt are just ridiculous. How could anyone imagine that applying an 'algorythm' to results is going to work?? These are people we're working with not just numbers.
    I'm so thankful to be out of teaching now.


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