As I am sure you will know today is a massive day for so many young people across the country. It is GCSE results day, the day when all possible emotions displayed by a human are used in abundance.
I don’t usually post about subjects that don’t involve my work but in a long winded way, my whole career started all those years ago at around this time, so I felt the need to talk about it.
In an article posted today it states that -
The proportion of GCSEs awarded at least a C grade has suffered its biggest fall in the exam’s 25-year history.
For the second year in a row. the number of pupils given an A*-C grade has dropped – down 1.3% on last year to 68.1%.
The number of A* grades awarded was also lower, falling 0.5% on last year from 7.3 to 6.8%, according to official figures.
The figures show that the overall A*-G pass rate also fell slightly this year, to 98.8% compared to 99% last year.
In contrast to last week’s A-level results, girls are still outperforming boys at GCSE and achieved better results at A*-C across every subject.
Why is this? Are the exams getting harder?
It is hard to say, and I for one wouldn’t like to point the finger at anything in particular, I can only speak from experience and how much GCSE’s effected me.
During the GCSE year of 2003 I was at my most disruptive. I was kicked out of school and had no interest in making a special effort to sit down for hours answering questions about subjects I had no interest in. I remember being sat in the school hall in complete silence attempting my English GCSE only to spend the time writing a story about an outlandish cowboy and his life. That was me – I didn’t want to do things like everyone else. (Please note I am in no way condoning these actions) I felt under so much pressure to succeed and I had the whole ‘if you don’t succeed in school you will never make anything of your life’ imprinted on my brain so much that all I could think about was rebelling. I will be honest I enjoyed about 50% of my school life. 100% of this did not include lessons.
At the age of 15 I didn’t know what was happening with my life or where I was going. I had failed in my exams I left with two GCSE’s in English and Maths both with the grade – E. To my knowledge that was it, the only thing I had to look forward to was a career in retail with very little prospects. It wasn’t until I was expelled for the second time and placed in a ‘Pupil Referral Unit’ that I was given the option to work as a plumber. I remember thinking – yeah, this might be for me. I was never given this option in public school. I can’t remember a single time when a construction apprenticeship was even mentioned. It was all media this and I.T that, learn about religion and study this map then at the end of the year sit in silence and write down everything I am telling you.
I can honestly say that my school life might have been different if I was given these options a whole lot earlier.
I have to ask – why are basic construction skills not taught in school? Why not include lessons that give people these options. Teach about the benefits of learning a skill that can be used all around the world and that could benefit life’s for the better.
People are different. Not everyone will become a scientist or a brain surgeon, so why not give young people these options from an early age so they don’t have to go through the turmoil of trying to find what is right for them.
Maybe the young people are now starting to realise this thus the results from the earlier stats? The attitudes towards university are changing and apprenticeships seem to be as popular as they were in the 50′s. This is great news and I can only agree that this is what our country needs. The only way we can be self sufficient as a nation is by teaching the younger generations how to care for and look after what the generations before have created. Pass on the skills needed and don’t just search the world for the best of the best – teach someone, offer an apprenticeship and train someone to do what you can do so well. Employers and employees will flourish and the U.K, in turn, will do the same.
Yes school is important, yes you have the opportunity to learn things that will benefit you in life and help you live a successful life BUT it is NOT the end of the world. There are so many options out there, be brave and follow your dreams!
If you would like to speak with me about anything I have mentioned please do. I offer FREE guidance and support sessions to anyone thinking about starting a career in construction, I know this is a stressful time but speaking to someone who has been there and done it can only serve to benefit you. Feel free to get in touch HERE.
To read about myself and what I have achieved 10 years after my failed GCSE’s click HERE.