Thursday, August 23, 2007


I went into school earlier today to be with pupils as they opened their GCSE results. Overall, there were great scenes of rejoicing, with some excellent grades acquired through hard work. The half dozen pupils I’d been specifically mentoring all did pretty well – although I know that two of the boys could have done better (and I think they know that too). I thought that another of “my” boys(!) was going to drop out of school altogether last Christmas, but thankfully he was able to turn things around and had gained really impressive results. He was delighted (and I’m sure his mother was too!).
Hopefully, for most pupils, the results will provide a boost to their self-belief and act as a springboard to higher education and particular career paths. Inevitably, for a few, there was disappointment – I passed one boy as he was on his way out of school; he’d clearly being putting on a brave face to his friends but now, as he left, reality was dawning and he couldn’t hold back his emotions any longer as tears started rolling down his face. I came across two other boys - both with disappointing results – who were laughing and joking in a typical macho, “we-don’t-care” way and maintaining that they’d only come into school to see their mates. For them, their GCSE results could be the wake-up call they need – or perhaps they could simply be the next steps in lives of disillusionment and under-achievement. Hopefully, it’ll be the former; unfortunately, for those particular individuals, I fear it might be the latter.

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