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A proper education is so much more than just the qualifications achieved

Education is the most precious gift we give to the next generation because it provides young people with the opportunity to carve out a successful future for themselves.  Young people understand this too, which explains the outpouring of anxiety and emotion since A-level results were released last week.

Like you, no doubt, I was dismayed at the prospect of so many pupils across the country being let down so badly by a flawed system for the allocation of GCSE and A-level grades this year.  I am delighted that the Department for Education and Ofqual have seen fit to support the pupils and allow them to continue their educational journey largely unhindered.

At Radnor House, our students were awarded the A-level grades they deserved on A-level results day and all attained places at their first choice universities.  They deserve their achievement and were spared the anxiety and distress of an ill-conceived appeals process and the uncertainty (still faced by many) of university places.  All GCSE pupils should feel reassured that their results and mental health will not suffer later in the week.

Our attention now turns to the new Year 11 and 13 pupils and the support they need to have the best chance of a successful future.  Of course, excellence in public examinations are an important element of any education, which is why schools must be able to adapt their approach so that learning continues unabated, even if it has to be done remotely.

But a proper education is so much more than the qualifications achieved at the end of schooling.  If young people are to thrive in the world beyond academia, then they must have had the opportunity to build spirit, attitude and empathy.

So, as we dwell on examination results at this time, let us not forget those 'unexaminable' qualities, nurtured through a holistic, values-based education, that are equally necessary conditions for future success.

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