Project 365 #237: 250809 Fingers Crossed!
This Thursday is a big one for thousands of teenagers up and down the country awaiting their GCSE results. They won't get much sleep tomorrow night! For teachers though, particularly headteachers, the sleepless night is tonight.
For practical reasons (which in this day and age are partly legacy now) the schools get the results early, and they'll be available for electronic download from around midnight tonight. It's all strictly embargoed of course, and schools aren't allowed to share the results with anyone, including most of the staff!
This means that tomorrow morning hundreds of head teachers will be pacing up and down corridors whilst they wait for their exams officers/data managers/statisticians to crunch the performance data until it all distils into one figure - the percentage of students who get 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including maths and english. This is the figure that the school is targeted on, and is the defining performance indicator of five years spent guiding children into adults.
It's a nice bonus if the kids you've worked with have become nice people, valuable citizens, responsible adults, good parents for the future - but if that figure doesn't have the right value then the school has failed.
A bit like my comments about exams earlier in the year, this is both flawed and unfair, but it's about the best system that we've got. I guess we've got to make the best of it. :)
Edit 17/11/09: It seems that this photo has made it onto the front page of the Yahoo! directory - even if only for a day. Thank you for the vote of confidence!