Have been to a Year 13 parents’ meeting this evening (that’s Upper Sixth in old money), the main purpose of which was to impress upon us how important it is for us to help our children get good grades in their A levels.
Yep, fine, in agreement with you so far.
We were treated to a Power Point presentation which began with a little film of students receiving their results last August; cue happy, triumphant music, with joyful teenagers celebrating their wonderful grades. (Daughter, who was there at the time of filming, tells me they turned the cameras away from those who were sad or disappointed.) This was followed with favourable Ofsted quotes, diagrams demonstrating the structuring of staffing, etc.
Ok, fair enough, a little harmless self promotion is allowable.
Next came some dates and info about applying to universities, student loans and the like, with a brief nod to those who might want to start a career instead.
Yep, useful stuff.
There then followed the most shameless propaganda and pressuring I’ve ever heard in my life! Basically, to sum it up, if your child doesn’t work hard – and therefore doesn’t get the grades they want – their whole life will be forever ruined. The universe may implode if your child only gets a C for History!
Oh good grief! There are always alternatives, people. When I did my A levels (many, many moons ago) I didn’t get the grade I needed in one subject. Yes I was disappointed, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I took the subject again, as a one year course, at the local college and worked in a shop in my free time. It did me the world of good to have a year in the working environment, and I got my grade at the end of it.
The meeting actually concluded with a little story about a girl who was undecided about going to uni so turned to the teacher for advice. He told her that if she didn’t go she would probably not meet the man she was going to marry, or her chief bridesmaid and [turning to us parents] we would never have those grandchildren we want to bounce on our knees!!!!!! WHAT!!!!! So, not only do girls only want to go to uni to meet a man to marry, but their whole blood line will die out if they don’t go. Hold the presses! Ring the scientists! That must be why the dinosaurs died out: obviously none of them got the grades they wanted in their A levels.