Employers and Chambers of Commerce in the West Country said there was a big gap between education and employment that needs to be addressed to give young people the chance to find jobs when they leave school.
The headmaster of one of Britain's top achieving schools has seen his pupils improve yet again, despite what he brands 'political pressures'. Paul Evans, Headteacher of Colyton Grammar School in Devon, saw his school top the national league table for GCSE last January.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to predict the outcome of our public examinations due to the political pressures to tighten standards nationally. In a year when we are told it is more difficult to achieve top grades, we increased the A* and A grades. It is a great relief to see that through hard work and determination, our students have maintained high standards and delivered the results that will set them up well for six form study and beyond.
No one should underestimate the effort required to achieve high numbers of top grades across a range of subjects and the students should be very proud of what they've managed to achieve."
– Paul Evans, Headteacher, Colyton Grammar School
More than half the year group achieved five or more top A* grades in a year when 49.4% of the GCSE grades obtained at the school were A* which was up 4.1% on last year.
He said 83.4% of all GCSEs awarded to Year Ten students taking GCSE at Colyton this summer were graded A8 or A - which was 2.7% higher than last year. Eleven pupils - seven girls and four boys - achieved straight A* in 12 subjects.
Schools and pupils are being put under ridiculous pressures to meet the latest demands from Ofsted and Government. As exam and test results are increasingly the only measure by which schools are judged it is no surprise some schools are entering pupils for different exams or entering them earlier. Everyone wants the best for pupils but the obsessive target driven culture imposed on schools is stifling learning and pupil engagement."
– Andy Woolley, South West Regional Secretary, National Union of Teachers