Today I would like to honour every single A level student out there, because whatever their results, they have successfully navigated a challenging, ever changing educational environment ruled by politicians rather than educational experts.
I would particularly like to honour those who may not have received the results they were expecting or hoping for...those who are changing their plans and wondering what to do next.
I suspect there are more of these students than we appreciate. The headlines are all about success and achievement. I believe that EVERY student, regardless of the grades they have been temporarily measured by, is both successful and has achieved in their life so far.
Yesterday, success was measured in grades. Students have succeeded based upon some letters typed on a piece of paper. Twelve years of education summed up in a few letters...really?
As a School Trustee who watched our A level students receiving their results yesterday, I think its important to remember today that success has MANY different measures.
I honour the students who achieved their grades through natural ability, raw talent and sheer hard work.
I honour the students who managed to take their exams despite huge mental health or physical challenges.
I honour the students who got results despite experiencing challenging and disruptive childhoods.
I honour the students who have navigated the exam factory, which doesn't allow for flexibility and talents that may require a greater depth of assessment than 3 hours worth of exams.
And today, as a parent,
I honour and respect my son, who has handled twelve years in the education system (not always suited to his needs) with dignity, courage, resilience, patience, equanimity and humour. I am so proud of you, Daniel.
For all these young people, today is the first day of the rest of their lives. Live each day well and be the best you can be - that is a measure of true success!