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Headteacher resits A-levels to improve his childhood grades

Headteacher's Michael Jackson's A-Level results sheet after he resat the exams he took as a teenager Credit: ITV News

Hundreds of thousands of teenagers received their A-level results today - but among them was a slightly older student - a headteacher who decided to resit his exams decades after first taking them.

Michael Jackson from Nottingham felt he should have done better at the exams when he was younger, having got two E grades, so this year he joined his students in studying, revising and entering the exam hall in an effort to improve his grades - which he did.

'Cross-party approach' needed to improve education

The UK needs to cut out party politics if it is to improve education for young people and tackle the "unacceptably low level" of literacy and numeracy, a business leader has said in a report calling for A levels to be scrapped.

Sir Michael Rake, chairman of BT and president of business group CBI, said:

Over the last 25 years and longer there have been multiple initiatives from different Secretaries of State which have not achieved the necessary improvement in educational standards.

It is therefore time to establish a cross-party apolitical approach to education to move on from our narrow out-dated focus with A-levels and to improve on the other competencies necessary for success including the fundamental need to improve the basic skills of literacy and numeracy which are at an unacceptably low level.

– Sir Michael Rake


Baccalaureate will teach students 'softer skills'

Sixth-form students would learn "softer skills" and keep their academic options open for longer if a baccalaureate replaced A levels, a report has said.

Students will keep their options open for longer if they take a baccalaureate, experts said. Credit: PA

Education chiefs called for a wider baccalaureate to be brought in so 16-18-year-olds would cover languages, sciences and softer skills like teamwork.

The move would allow young people to keep their career options open and give them more opportunities later in life, the report argues.

The business leaders and academics behind the report said a baccalaureate, similar to the International Baccalaureate which teenagers take in mainland Europe, could also be used to teach students critical thinking and problem solving.

"In broad terms they are the skills that enable young people to face the demands of higher education and career challenges in a global and very competitive environment," the report said.

Govt needs to 'give more thought' to failing students

The Government needs to "give more thought" to the students who did not get A-levels or equivalent qualifications, a leading teaching union has said:

We hope students get the grades they need tomorrow to enable them to go to university, get a training place or find a good job.

But we fear for those who don't, because their prospects don't look rosy at a time when nearly a million 16 to 24-year-olds are out of work.

All young people need the chance to show what they've learnt, whether they want to go to university or not, but these new exam proposals won't let them do that.

– Nansi Ellis, head of education policy at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)
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