At GKP we are always on the lookout for the head teachers hitting the headlines. These are the stories from the last four weeks that really caught our eye. With GCSE and A-Level results days taking place last month, and the new school year now upon us, Britain’s head-teachers had a lot of opinions on the state of national exams. Others pondered what benefits and what threatens students’ well-being and academic attainment.
Richard Cairns, headmaster of Brighton College, explores how students can decide what to do after GCSEs.
Kevin Stannard, director of innovation and learning at the Girls’ Day School Trust, believes A-Levels are being undermined by too many unconditional offers.
While Chris Ramsey, head of Whitgift school in Croydon, believes that universities should interview for admissions rather than relying on exam grades.
James Allen, head of Beech Hall School in Macclesfield, decided to sit the exams himself to see how he would be marked for using advanced linguistic sentences.
Meanwhile, Peter T Howe, principal of Atlantic College in South Wales, argues that GCSEs are no less than an outdated practice needing complete abandonment.
Melvyn Roffe, head at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh, is quoted in this article arguing that students and teachers in Scotland should be able to see their marked exams to increase confidence in the system and reduce the number of appeals.
Whilst on the same subject in England, Sean Fenton, the incoming HMC chair representing over 250 private schools, thinks that private schools should pay more than state schools for exam remarks in order to make the opportunity accessible for everyone.
Helen Stringer, head of Northampton High School, writes about how outdoor education helps build resilience and confidence and boosts academic attainment and David Elstone, head of Hymers College in Hull, praises NCS for its impact on the community.
On the other hand, Shaun Fenton, headteacher of Reigate grammar school, warns of the crisis social media is causing on children’s mental health and similarly Dorothy Macginty, principal of Kilgraston School, writes in The Times about combatting addiction to electronic devices.
Jessica Wheeler, head at Elmhurst Ballet School, warns that we are not fulfilling creative education in schools. Finally, Vicky Bingham, head at South Hampstead High School, is quoted in this article about how tutoring agencies prey on parents’ fears for business.