Exam Results and the Examination System: What Do Exam Results Actually Mean?
Over the last 2 weeks we have seen many young people receive their A-Level and GCSE exam results. For many people this will affect their next steps, be it University, Sixth Form, Apprenticeships or straight in to employment. For some people the current examination system works well and allows them to develop their strengths, and for those people who achieved their goals I would like to congratulate them. For those whom it has not worked out as planned, there are plenty of options still available to you.
In the last few years we have seen many qualifications change across all levels and subjects, and for me, many of these chances restrict the ability for individuals to display their full potential. Moving back to a examination system where you have to remember 2 years of content and then show this in a one-off exam, is in my opinion not the best way of accessing the wider range of skills which an individual possesses.
When people talk about skills shortages and the links between school leavers and the skills which the industry want their employees to have, I think we have a real opportunity to help individuals develop a wider range of skills, rather than measuring success with exam results. At our Café we will give people the opportunity to develop and practice these skills in a supportive environment, which will then in turn give them the opportunity to discuss with potential future employers. As an employer what is more important to you; a Grade C/4 in English in Maths or someone who is trustworthy and willing to learn?
For many of the young autistic individuals I have worked with in the last decade, exams represent the very biggest of challenges. The anxiety created by the exams themselves can cause very able individuals to be unable to even enter the examination room. Schools put lots of things in place to try and support students, and changes can be made (additional time etc) but do these still allow the individual to show an examiner their full ability? In my view they do not.
One of the key concepts from the people I have worked with is the notion of time, and having to achieve things by certain ages, or within certain time frames. Changes can be made to these to support people, and the outcomes achieved can be the same. Could changes in the education system, and the examination system, help to prepare young people for the workplace? I believe they can. I am a great believer in learning, and much of that is done through listening to people, and in this case listening to the opinions of the autistic people as they have a range of solutions to the challenges which they face.
We believe that with small changes the workplace can become so much more accessible to people who want to work. From my experience the majority of autistic people do not want charity, they want opportunity. Work with us to help a create spectrum of opportunities which will benefit all of those involved.
Contact us and find out how we can work together. Thomas@track.org.uk