GCSE praise for South Tyneside pupils, teachers and parents after 'unusual and challenging' year

Teachers, pupils and parents have been praised for their handling of an ‘unusual and challenging’ year.

Thursday, 20th August 2020, 6:00 am
Stock image from Pixabay as pupils receive their GCSE results

Teenagers across the country are due to receive their GCSE results today, a week after the uproar created by the government’s handling of A-levels and the impact of the pandemic.

But regardless of the grades awaiting youngsters, bosses at South Tyneside Council have insisted they should still be recognised for their efforts, even though they haven’t had a chance to put it to the test this time.

“We are committed to giving all our young people the best start in life,” said Moira Smith, cabinet member for Children, Families and Young People.

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“I would like to thank students, their parents and carers and our wonderful teaching staff who have all coped extremely well during this year’s most unusual and challenging circumstances.

“At the start of this year nobody could have predicted how radically the world of education would change.

“While it is disappointing for our young people that they have not had the opportunity to showcase their skills in external exams, they are to be congratulated for their efforts and commitment to their studies.”

Earlier this week a government u-turn confirmed GCSE and A-level pupils would be awarded the marks estimated by their teachers – unless the computer algorithm originally intended to be used has produced a higher grade.

It followed an apology by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson for the ‘distress’ caused to families and teachers over the handling of results.

While the government announcement will be welcome news to many, council chiefs are already working on plans for what will come next for youngsters, who may be planning to apply for jobs or further employment or training, regardless of their results.

Cllr Smith added: “I would also like to remind those who may be disappointed with their results that help is at hand.

“Our Connexions South Tyneside Service supports young people to make positive choices about their future with information about college courses, apprenticeships, sixth form, employment and training as well as a range of other options depending on needs and interests.”

Anyone interested in contacting the Connexions service can book an appointment with an adviser by calling 0191 4246 657.

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