A-level Results Day 2017: One sixth form principal says ‘we should stop politicising education’

Students receive their A-level results at One sixth form. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Students receive their A-level results at One sixth form. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Alan Whittaker, principal of One sixth form in Ipswich, calls for period of stability in education after biggest A-level and GCSE reforms in a generation.

LIVE: Alan Whittaker, principal at One sixth form in Ipswich. He calls for "stability" in education. Live updates here: http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/a-level-results-day-2017-ipswich-students-find-out-results-at-schools-and-colleges-1-5149170

Posted by Ipswich Star on Thursday, 17 August 2017

School leaders across England have long-feared former education secretary Michael Gove’s legacy to improve standards, match other countries and better identify top-performing students would result in turmoil this summer.

A-level coursework and modular exams have been largely scrapped, AS results do not count towards an A-level, and content has been beefed up, with university input.

Mr Whittaker said: “We have had lots to celebrate recently. There has been a real resurgence in performance at local schools. Today should be about celebrating the success of students. Given the fact that the goalposts have changed, my plea would be: can we just have some stability now. We should stop politicising education. Let’s concentrate on our young people and working hard, and fingers crossed, some stability for the future.

“This overhaul across the system has been a real challenge for the education profession. It will be interesting to see what happens next week as well with the GCSE changes.

“I’d say we had a system that did work… With the change of assessment and methodology, it’s made it hard. People have had to adapt. Life is about regular assessment and continual work; not just coasting through a big exam at the end.

“I think coursework is important and it suits some people. It’s more in line with what you do in real life. You have to work hard at your job and you have to perform to a good level, and it’s about regular feedback and performance.

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“For some subjects, perhaps the balance needed altering, but wholesale changes, personally I wasn’t in favour of it.”

• See here for the latest Ipswich and east Suffolk live results and news.

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