A Level results, including ICT are great this year!

If the papers are to be believed, this year the shortfall in University places for aspirant students will create a hundred  thousand spare bodies with no much to do this autumn. Free school is over for them, the job market is as over...


If the papers are to be believed, this year the shortfall in University places for aspirant students will create a hundred  thousand spare bodies with no much to do this autumn. Free school is over for them, the job market is as over subscribed as University and the cash for successive gap years has run out.

Hopefully they will find places next year but David Willets Minister of State for Universities and Science warns that many students have been badly advised as to their A Level combinations citing a wannabe engineer with PE, RS and Geography A levels.

This kind of thing presumably is a refection of a school’s need to chase points in the league tables, or maybe too much of a student’s perception of what they would like to do rather than what (in both cases) a student needs.

Any deferred places, of course,  will be taken from next year’s quota and so the same thing will happen again.  However you look at this we are facing an ongoing surplus of largely middle class idiosyncratically educated young adults whose ranks will be swelled by many more that did make it into University who now find that their Film and Media Studies degree has not opened the doors they expected it to do.

I was intrigued by Charles Arthur’s article in The Guardian this week about the quality of ICT taught in schools. I agreed with pretty much everything that he wrote ( especially as some of it was attributed to me)  but what really was interesting was the early feedback from some school professionals. In a nut shell there was a bit of a backlash against Charles as being just another middle-class whinger who wants the curriculum to revolve around his little darling.

David Willets mentioned above got a bit of a professional backlash too for his middle class criticisms and elitism.  

Well brace yourselves, the middle-class fury that is about to go pop will be something else.  Collectively, this summer,  hundreds of thousands of parents are going to realise that the education business, has “sold them a pup”.

They will go mental. Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Technology, Computing, English and French will no longer been seen as a bit dull and hard they will be seen as having been essential...so why is young Prunella not doing any of these?


The poor parents will survey, a subset of Generation Y which is in danger of being dubbed the ‘surplus generation’

Personally I am sorry that the schools’ Year 9 careers advisers did not produce a 100,000 computer and other engineers for us and I do know deep down that had they persuaded the youngsters to do ICT they would have died of boredom before too long.

I am beginning to understand though the Coalition’s obsession with Free Schools and Academies. I think I get why they so furiously disbanded QCDA and BECTA. I see why they want to loosen the bonds of the National Curriculum. They feel betrayed. However they should not look around for blame as the first League Table of exams appeared in national papers in the early 1990’s under Margaret Thatcher; much of the mess we have now is directly down to “points chasing” by schools.

Maybe they should have awarded “double points” for the more difficult subjects. And before a Geographer writes in saying how tough their subject is ...it’s not...you just find it tough.

Enough carping, apart from the above suggestion for the future what can save our surplus generation?


I think it will be IT that saves the day. Of course I do.

A lynch pin will be needed. Subset Generation Y ( or in mathematical terms: Š‚ genY’) is characterised by nothing else if not those two defining iconic products. The i-Phone and Facebook.

So, it will have to be something to bring them together into synergy (I'm being ironic). It'll have to be that most apposite creation, the App! The question is which App? Android or Apple? Who knows?

I briefly looked up a few candidates using ‘ten most useless apps’ or similar in a search string but was soon overwhelmed with candidates. Possible contenders were unfortunately thematically linked by their leveraging of the phone’s vibration mode.

Ultimately it became clear, the ‘ app would have to be invented. So 'Š‚ genY’, you have plenty of time to work it out.

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