And I didn’t need the help of the most incompetent government in living memory to do it, I was perfectly capable of cocking up my own A-levels thanks very much. No algorithm designed to keep clever but poor kids in their place while all the Oxbridge places were quickly snapped up by the rich kids was needed. Just do the bare minimum and trust your luck on the day.
But thanks to Education Secretary Gavin ‘Frank Spencer’ Williamson, who on Monday performed the biggest Government U-turn since, er, the last one, thousands and thousands of bright working class kids had their dreams stamped into the dust when “computer said no” and their predicted A*, A and B grades were ruthlessly downgraded so they lost their conditional places at university.
You’d think, wouldn’t you, that after all these kids have been through this year, the Government would say, “You know what, they’ve had a tough time of it, let’s give them what their teachers predicted. After all, they taught them for 18 months and know what they’re capable of. Let’s trust their judgment.” Trouble is, you and I live in the real world. I’m not even sure what colour the grass is on the planet these wet-lipped buffoons in the Cabinet are from. I’m guessing blue. We’re the lucky ones. Our daughters earned their places at excellent but free sixth forms through hard graft and talent and left with outstanding results.
Their predicted grades would probably have been left alone or even rounded up. The ones me and the boss attended in the 80s, not so much.
Put yourself in these kids’ shoes. If you were 18, had worked your backside off, got a conditional place at a Russell Group university then saw your grades slashed because of where you lived and your offer was withdrawn, how would you feel?
I’m guessing like the Incredible Hulk after he stubbed his toe on the skirting board. But what Boris Johnson and his cronies don’t appear to have considered is there is now an army of angry 18-year-olds, who are all suddenly eligible to vote at the next election. Wonder where they’ll stick their X?