Exam results - I remember those days…..

Wednesday 19-08-2015 - 17:56

It’s been 10 years since I left school but results day is as fresh in my mind as yesterday.


This month has been an anxious one for many as students up and down the country collect their GCSE and A-level results. For some, it’s a day that leaves you jumping for joy, but for others you may feel like you want to crawl under a rock.

Last Thursday students received their A-level results and on a whole there was a feeling off success with 98.1% of students receiving an A-E grade (up 0.1% from 2014). This result is the highest number ever recorded by UCAS. 453,000 students were offered college or university places. We also saw a significant increase (13,415 up from last year) of women gaining places.

This is great news, but I would to take time to consider the 1.9% of students that didn’t achieve A-E grades. Although we have made progress, there are still students who the current educational system does not suit. 

This was the category I fell into in 2005 after failing my exams. I know that feeling of lacking in confidence, self-esteem and motivation - I felt like a failure compared to all my friends. However, there is an important message that I want to send to those student will fell into the 1.9% category this year- your life isn’t over!

As I shared in my blog earlier this month I failed the majority of my exams and looking back now was lost in the whirlwind of the lack of options that were offered to me. As a result enrolled and dropped out of a number of courses because of the lack of Information, Advice and Guidance given to me. 

Sometime you have to go back to go forward, and that may mean being a couple years behind your friends, but the amount I have learnt and the people I have met through having such a negative educational experience in school has led me to gain my lifetime qualification in overcoming adversity. Now, at 27, I am a newly qualified teacher and current NUS Vice President Further Education. Yes, I achieved this even after failing my GCSEs.

There are so many options available and the academic route into education isn’t always for everyone. I was much more suited to vocational qualifications and apprenticeships. It’s about positioning yourself in the best place for YOU to strive.

Today the GCSE results prove that there is still major work to do on our education system to make it more relevant to the needs and of abilities of our students who will progress into higher education, or employment in line with the labour market. Remember, you don’t have to go to university to be successful.

I am delighted to see so many students over the last two weeks complete their exams, they are now able to move into higher education and achieve their dreams. I will make it my priority within my role this year to champion the importance of education for the next generation while considering that not one way fits all.

As VP FE at the National Union Students I believe it is our duty to ensure that we represent the voice of our membership and should advocate students as individuals, and an education system that reflects this. Our current education system need a total shake up to close the gap between the rich and the poor. We need to embed liberation the entire educational structure.



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