Richard Ord: Those exam success picture secrets revealed


Due to a national crackdown on health and safety in schools,this newspaper organisation has been forced to review how it photographs exam success stories.

Traditionally, all A-level and GCSE successes have been depicted in newspapers by students leaping up in the air brandishing either their results or the letter ‘A’ on a piece of cardboard.

But due to a series of sprained ankles and mid-air head clashes across the region, this year we had to abandon those stunts.

Instead, in the interest of safety, we put the successful students in body harnesses and raised them into the air via a series of pulleys suspended below specially constructed scaffolding.

The photographs were then taken with the scaffolding and pulley operators, along with St John Ambulance crews, just out of shot. The final images were put through Photoshop on our office computers to erase the wires and harnesses from the shot.

It’s a long-winded process but the safety of all students is paramount and it just wouldn’t be results day without the traditional leaping in the air celebration.

Apologies if these behind-the-scenes secrets have spoiled the illusion, but we think it’s important to be as open and transparent as possible in this age of fake news.

My eldest son, Bradley, 16, who has completed his GCSEs didn’t feature on any of the celebration photographs.

He’s not one for leaping at the best of times. My wife and I have considered employing some sort of pulley system, but that is just to get him out bed in the morning.

Thankfully, he defied the odds and performed particularly well in his GCSEs. Well, he got the results he needed for his future career ambitions.

Great, you may say, but his career ambitions of late are not particularly dependent on academic success.

“I want to be a semi-professional footballer and full-time poker player,” he said.

Is there a minimum entry requirement for card schools?

While I’m sure there is, for some, a great living to be had out of semi-professional football and gambling, I reckon there’s a different reason for the attraction to our lazy boy. He likes the hours.

Football matches kick off at 3pm, so he’s confident of getting to work on time.

I believe, like most teenagers, his current alarm is set for 1pm, and that’s only if he’s on an early start!

What surprises me most about the leaping in air exam celebration pictures is that they still persist.

Given that students have gone to great lengths to turn what was once the humble school disco into a Prom extravaganza, why haven’t they applied the same extravagance to their results day?

Proms see kids arriving in horse drawn carriages and leaving via stretch limo.

How soon before the traditional jumping for joy is replaced by students with A* grades being fired out of cannons?

Funnily enough, our Bradley just missed out on being the first student on results day to be pictured being fired out of a cannon.

Not for success would he have been turned into a human cannon ball, but that’s what I had planned if he didn’t get his grades.

Maybe I’ll save that particular ‘celebration’ for his younger brother! You have been warned Isaac.