Herts Ad comment: Give us something to sing about with A-level results

PUBLISHED: 18:00 28 August 2016

Herts Advertiser comment

Herts Advertiser comment


We all know how well local students perform in their A-levels, so why don’t their schools want to celebrate their success?

Extracting statistical data about examination results from many St Albans and Harpenden schools is like pulling teeth.

A consortium of St Albans district headteachers has restricted the information released to the media to celebratory statements instead of highlighting grades or performance statistics, claiming they don’t want to encourage competition between establishments but would rather be all friends together.

Statements released by the group St Albans and Harpenden Secondary School Heads (STASSH) include positive comments about “record-breaking” and “best-ever” results, but without backing up these claims with any figures, which is pretty meaningless when you think about it. According to STASSH, “these days are about our students realising their dreams and celebrating their success stories, not the individual performances of schools”.

But although a select few schools have highlighted the achievements of individual students, the majority have not even included this information, making it very difficult to say anything substantial about their performances. Some haven’t even bothered releasing any statements at all, no matter how cursory.

For decades, the Herts Advertiser has proudly celebrated the academic achievements of our local schools, but we can only do so when there is an inherent news value behind these stories.

Just as we would not publish claims about Olympic records being broken or “best-ever” results from Team GB without supporting statistics, we will not run stories about school performances which are wholly unsubstantiated.

We urge headteachers to give us the chance to sing about their A* students, instead of hiding their academic lights beneath a bushel of political correctness.

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