Bootham School’s Top A Level results as Head calls for an ‘Education Bank of England’ with more autonomy and respect for the profession
Bootham School students are celebrating another set of excellent A Level results which saw well over one-third of the year group getting more than three top A grades. Amid all the celebrations rumblings continue about the validity of the whole system, from concerns over exam board mistakes to Michael Gove’s latest set of policy shake-ups.
Bootham School’s Headmaster, Jonathan Taylor, is known to hold strong views on the way government interference is creating unhelpful instability within the whole education sector. Commenting on the latest plans by Gove to abandon AS Levels in favour of a terminal exam at the end of the full two year course, he said,
It’s true that the current system of endless exams throughout a student’s A Level course means that exams and results seem to be the only thing worth talking about, but the alternative now proposed is just a step back into the past. The 2015 proposal would result in narrowing of choice with students unlikely to embark on a course which might result in failure. In fact, the old system was just that – narrowness and failure – with no stepping off points and no credit for a subject started but not completed to the bitter end. I am also concerned that the abandonment of the AS exam at the end of the first year in the sixth form will result in universities being forced to make offers based on GCSE grades; it’s acknowledged that GCSEs are not the best indicators of intellectual ability – let alone of future potential – especially for boys. What we need in this country is a proper respect for the professionalism of those in charge of education, and less political interference aimed at headline grabbing. It is a curious fact that the Bank of England is given respect and autonomy over setting interest rates, in spite of the country having suffered one of the worst financial crises, and yet the education sector, which has seen constant improvement, both in terms of individual performance and in terms of numbers accessing higher and further education, is not afforded even a modicum of the same autonomy. We need the equivalent – an ‘Education Bank of England
Bootham School is one of the country’s leading independent Quaker schools founded in 1823, it describes its style of education as ‘Adventurous and Liberating’ and has an impressive alumni ranging from those in the arts and media to business leaders like ex Marks & Spencer boss, Sir Stuart Rose, and the country’s top mandarin, civil servant Sir Jeremy Heywood.
Those students who gained 3 or more to A Level grades include: Kitty Acton, Sam Altmann, Tom Andrew, James Ashbridge, Ellie Brierley, Kevin Cheung, Ellie Coupe, Laura Eimermann, Max Fend, Alex Gooddie, Marcus Hirst, Howard Hung, Michael Kwong, Grujica Mandic, Oliver Manners, Eleanor McKee, Henry Pang, James Paul, Chris Piercy, Toby Putnam, George Ramsey, Scarlett Robertson, Hannah Robinson, Georgia Tindale, Cyrus Yu, John Yu and Humphrey Yuan.