Thursday, 23 August 2012

I'll eat my head...

Yes, I will chew off ears and all, if it's true that Gove had nothing to do with the grade boundary adjustments for GCSE.

Really, I find his denial - no interference, pressure, nope, nothing to do with him - remarkable. It makes him sound more suspicious than ever. Who believes the claim that the grade changes were made wholly by the exam boards? Strangely, all working together, independently, merely responding to the syllabus change, at the very last minute?

A little bit of me feels Gove needs a sympathetic pat for trying it. It's like your four-year old denies he rang 999 when the fire engine turns up at the door, but you know he just adores Fireman Sam.

As to the motives? Maybe it's a move to force schools to become business-minded academies; maybe it's a step up to the rhetoric about making exams harder to pass; maybe it's a move towards that goal of monopoly exam boards; maybe it's a shifty slip towards O level/CSE by other means; maybe he reckons it's an appeal to the part of the vote that likes to hear talk of toughening up; perhaps he thinks it does all that, and this is a moment when he can lose the goofy look and be known as Hard Nut Gove, firm but fair, denying he is interested in the job of party leader.

Well, you might not believe this, but exams affect the home ed world, too. Plenty of kids who've never been to school take GCSE exams. Often at their own speed, sometimes starting young, sometimes starting older, sometimes missing them out altogether and going straight to A levels or other courses. But our world now is abuzzin' with exam emails, sometimes with results, sometimes with the relief that the process is complete, sometimes wondering what their child will choose next.

If Shark, Squirrel and Tiger decide to take exams, and I'll be honest, I am dangling them in front of their noses if they want them, then I'll be like most other parents on exam day; whatever the result, I'll be ridiculously proud of my daughters, and know that whatever else the grade signifies, it truly marks another step closer to the edge of the nest.

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