Testing Times

August sees students across Britain finally receive their exam results.
Doubtless, their tension and nervousness will be captured by television news crews for all to see.
They will follow Louise as she paces around the school gymnasium before dramatically opening her envelope to discover she has exceeded her expectations and got the results she needed to train to be a lawyer.
For balance, they will follow Stuart, who will be “slightly disappointed” with his results but will find a university that will accept his 1 A’level in Art for a Media Studies course.
They’ll never show Rachel, who also exceeded expectations and failed everything spectacularly and got told “she will now study at The University Of Life where she can become an alcoholic or a Nail Technician.”
This is because the media don’t want to compound anyone’s misery by showing their abject failure on their rolling news channel.
But maybe they should?
What better way to motivate students than by having their humiliation broadcast repeatedly across the world?
Personally, I get tired of watching successful teenage girls hysterically screeching at each other “Oh my God, Oh my God!” and bursting into uncontrollable tears of happiness.
Whatever next? Will schools hire a flash mob of Cliff Richard impersonators to sing an impromptu version of “Congratulations”?
For proper balance, I want to see a student open his envelope and say “Uh-Oh” – because he spent his revision time watching Scooby Doo – and have his dad say: “Well, let’s have a look, son” as the boy rapidly swallows his piece of paper and gets chased through an open window by his dad wielding a rolled up copy of The Sun.
I’m reasonably sure that tv companies have endless footage of these miserable incidents. Maybe they should make a compilation dvd of them to show in schools every term so teachers could say to their students: “You better pass. We’ve got the BBC filming here in August.”
Yeah, that’ll teach them.


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