Two years of hard work and months of nervous waiting is finally over for students across South Tyneside today.
Hundreds of youngsters went along to their schools this morning to collect their GCSE results.
For many there were celebrations, but also disappointment for some.
As teenagers marked the end of school life, the headteacher’s union called for a change to the GCSE system.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, National Association of Headteachers, said: “NAHT believes that now the school participation age has risen to eighteen, radical reform of the qualifications system is required.
“However, GCSEs are still an important stepping stone for further study and eventual employment, so it’s vital that any debate doesn’t undermine the value of GCSEs for today’s students.”
He added: “Obsessive tinkering over many years has short-changed students and created unnecessary pressure on education professionals. The Government’s vision is incomplete.”
Meanwhile, the Army is urging school leavers to consider a career in the forces following research that found young people in the North East think they will have to settle for second best in their future careers and are not confident they will ever secure their dream job.
Director General, army recruiting and training division, Major General Chris Tickell said: “The Army isn’t just a job. It’s a way of life.”
The Army careers hotline, 0306 7704777, will run until August 28 and careers offices in the region, including at South Shields, will be running clinics today for GCSE students.