Exams ‘are failing lots of students’

A principal at an academy in Mildenhall has hit out at the country’s examination system following the release of this year’s GCSE results.

Susan Byles, principal of Mildenhall College Academy, has claimed that the existing examination system currently in place is ‘intent on failing a large proportion of students’.

Ms Byles has spoken out after the academy saw a drop in those attaining five A* to C grades from 45 per cent in 2013 to 40 per cent this year.

“In truth we are disappointed with the results which simply do not reflect the incredible hard work undertaken by these students. We were hoping for those getting five A* to C grades to be about 10 per cent higher,” said Ms Byles.

“GCSEs are becoming increasingly difficult to pass and there are now fewer opportunities and there are now fewer opportunities for students to re-sit exams or study for alternative qualifications.

“Therefore it is all or nothing for those students who find passing GCSE grades A* to C incredibly difficult despite making every effort and trying their hardest.

“We seem to have an examination system in this country which is intent on failing a large proportion of students and which has removed alternatives they used to succeed in.”

While the overall results were below expectations of staff at the academy, which is split between two sites, there was still a number of pupils achieving multiple A and A* passes.

Oskar Polanski achieved eight GCSE grades at an A grade or above, while Lara Seymour, who also achieved an A in AS level maths, received seven A or A* GCSE grades.

In light of the results Ian Cleland, chief executive officer of the Academy Transformation Trust, who are the academy’s partner, confirmed that every effort will be undertaken to improve results in 2015.

“Our staff at Mildenhall College Academy are committed to ensuring that we give our pupils the best opportunity to succeed,” said Mr Cleland. “We will be working with Susan (Byles) and her team to offered focused support where it is needed in the coming months and we expect to see a results rise next year.”