GCSE successes deserve praise

FOR thousands of youngsters the GCSE results they pick up from school today will help determine the future of their education.For two years they have been working hard for these exams, and with good results many youngsters across Suffolk will now be preparing to start A Level and vocational courses.

FOR thousands of youngsters the GCSE results they pick up from school today will help determine the future of their education.

For two years they have been working hard for these exams, and with good results many youngsters across Suffolk will now be preparing to start A Level and vocational courses.

Yet again there are bound to be claims that GCSEs are not as taxing as the O Levels that were taken by youngsters a generation ago, but the fact is that exams have to evolve with the times.

It is possible to judge from GCSEs which youngsters are best equipped to go on to A levels and possible university and college places - and which would be better off taking vocational courses to learn a skill that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

The range of courses and training opportunities for 16-year-olds is now wider than ever before, giving youngsters the kind of choice their parents could never dream about.

And the candidates themselves can only deal with the questions on the paper and the coursework they are set. In achieving these fine results all those getting the results they wanted deserve our congratulations.

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BRITAIN'S growing gun culture has claimed another victim, and the death of 11-year-old Rhys Jones will make the blood of every parent in the country run cold today.

It seems incredible that a child only just out of primary school can apparently be targeted in such a manner as he plays football in a relatively peaceful area near his home.

Throughout this summer there have been horrific stories associated with the growth of gun and knife culture in Britain's biggest cities.

Teenage deaths have happened in Manchester and London, and now Liverpool has entered the 2007 list of notorious crimes.

And while here in Suffolk there is not the kind of culture that breeds this sort of crime, we should never forget that our proximity to London can lead to such incidents happening on our doorstep.

The death of Jimoh Plunkett at the Zest nightclub last year showed Suffolk is not immune from gun crime.

But today the thoughts of everyone will be with the family of Rhys Jones as they come to terms with their devastating loss.

FEW people will have fond memories of the summer of 2007, at least so far as the weather is concerned.

As the autumnal weather continues to grip the county bringing with it flooded fields and standing water on the roads, we are all left wondering whatever happened to global warming?

At least the forecasters are holding out the hope that the weather may get itself together for the bank holiday weekend, giving us all a belated excuse to go out to the seaside at the end of the month.

Certainly the forecasters can pride themselves in the long-range forecast - at the start of the summer they warned that this year was unlikely to be a scorcher.

How right they were. Let's just hope that they're now right about us getting a tantalising glimpse of fine weather over the next week, just before the children go back to school.

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