Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Management Removes November GCSEs to Play League Tables

The School Management last week revealed that, in light of recent educational policy change by the government, all GCSEs that were to be taken in the November exam period have been redacted, and no early exams will be taken by Year 11's. The new educational decree that was revealed by Professor Umbridge (Michael Gove) a few weeks back states that the first sitting of an exam is the grade that counts, and any other retakes of that exam are redundant. However, this is only true for the school's record, and not for the student. In short, a student can put any of the retake grades on their CV, but the school can only use first-test results.

Firstly, we would like to completely deplore Michael Gove's decision to enact recent law, as it is beneficial to none. When making his decision, Gove and his band of inebriated scum did not take into account extenuating circumstances. Exam situations are very artificial environments that students are expected to perform in, and outside factors can affect students output. It could be that something tragic had happened near to the exam, or the student in question had never experienced a real test situation prior to it, or as a teenager, emotions and hormones had simply got the better of them. We learn in science that we cannot judge, we cannot conclude anything for sure about anything or anyone simply from one instance. We must compare multiple results, and remove outliers. What if in this single test, due to unforeseen events, the student, who was predicted an A* got a D or otherwise? Are they then a D student? Can we judge them on this?

Now we come to our utter disgust again how the school's management has reacted to the situation. The fact that they would cancel tests, that both students and teachers had been preparing for and working towards for months on end, just because they do not want to suffer the chance of a minority failing and dampening their so-called 'perfect record', is more vile and divisive than the initial policy. The needs of the students should always outweigh the wants of the school, and the fact they are willing to expend exams on students' behalf, just so their own sullied name is left untarnished just goes to show how much they care about the school's overall appearance, rather than the achievements of the students already there, and is almost conclusive proof that the school's management is playing the League Tables at the expense of their students' education.

This policy does not affect the students, so why should students be forced into having their education tampered with?

You may ask why students wish to take exams early, even if it means, in some cases, they lose a few marks subsequently. The simple answer is that it is more likely that they will get a higher grade now than in the summer, purely because, unlike in the summer months, they are not having to play potluck with a memory game, since they are trying to juggle information for many different exams all commencing in a shorter time period. The reason why it was better with a modular system, and why there was outrage when Umbridge changed the system back to linear, was because modular exams were a judgement of ability to think, not memory. Linear entails remembering everything from the last two years of your life, and then being able to recall it on cue. Umbridge once again neglected the fact that the education system had moved on since he was a student, and it had moved on for the better. 

The school management needs to realise that a school is there to serve and educate students, not to play League Tables. A student should have the ability to choose whether or not to take an exam early, regardless of the outcome or the detriment to the school stats, and should be supported by the school in doing so. It is fair for teachers to advise students to or not to take exams early, but no year group should ever be handed a letter out of the blue telling them that their efforts for the past months have surmounted to nothing, and that the decision for them not to take exams had been made on their behalf, without their prior consultation, all because the school doesn't want to have to cancel their pre-order on next year's banner. It is vindictive, it is seedy, it is murky, it is unjust and, most importantly, it is wrong.

DISCLAIMER: This Hampstead Trash article has been written to critique the actions of the governing bodies of the school. This is so readers can hear both sides of the argument, and formulate their own opinions on matters pertaining to their education.

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