Record Alevel and GCSE results show the exam system is broken, says Catherine Scott

What a week we have just had. Both A-level and GCSE results in the same week – you normally get a breathing space of week between the two. But in this brave new world we just got a day between the two.

Sophie Lofthouse (second right) and Hannah Walton-Hughes (left) react as students at The Mount School, York, receive their A-Level results: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Luckily there were celebrations in our house with both children exceeding expectations which will allow them to move on to the next stage of their education.

But as to be expected the news of record A-level and GCSE top results were greeted with headline of grade inflation and dumbing down of exams.

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I have to say it made my blood boil. These teenagers have been through an unprecedented time – give them a break.

They have been taught the majority of their courses at home via laptop and zoom lessons. They have missed out on so many things with goodness knows what toll on their mental health.

When they could return to school – wearing masks and taking lateral flow tests twice a week – they were subjected to constant and rigorous assessments.

These test results then went through two teachers and the head teacher to be checked before going to the exam boards.

These results were not picked out of the sky – they earned them.

May be it is a reflection of our broken exam system that students fared better with this type of testing rather than a three hour exam in an exam hall where they are expected to show what they have learned in two years in a couple of papers per subject to the best of their ability.

Whatever is the case the fact so many have done so well in such difficult circumstances should be applauded not derided.

And the work of the teachers to set and mark these assessment and come up with the grades must have been so difficult.

They deserve applause not accusation that they have been biased towards their pupils. They know they will be open to scrutiny no matter what. Surely this is fairer than some algorithm?

I agree that it does ask questions about how we test and grade students in the future, but it should be seen as a positive, not a 
negative.

One area that does need some redress is the widening gap between the north and south, and state and private which was a worrying trend to come out of 2021.

But at the end of the day the main thing is that these young people can go on to fulfil their full potential and not become further victims of the pandemic.

These young people are the future –all our futures. We need to encourage them not do them down.