YEP Says, August 21: Tests that lie ahead for Government over more rigorous exams

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...and what’s the real story behind female breadwinners?

THE YEP would like to be the first to congratulate each and every student who has matched – or even exceeded – their personal expectations in this year’s GCSE exams.

These individual success stories, and the professionalism of teachers who helped them make the grade, mustn’t be overshadowed by the inevitable debate about whether former Education Secretary Michael Grove was right to make exams more rigorous.

For many youngsters, the transition now to A-levels – and then on to university – will be a smooth one, helped by the confidence they have gained from today’s results. For others, however, the future is far less certain.

And it is with these youngsters that extra effort must now be made to show the options that are available to them. They will need all the encouragement in the world if they’re to find training and work so they can fulfil their undoubted potential.

These results are also a reminder of the importance of a solid grounding and the need for the Government to ensure that primary schools have the expertise and resources to equip youngsters for the challenges that lie ahead of them.

Put simply, pupils – and especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – will struggle to rise to the challenge of more rigorous GCSE exams unless they grasp the priceless ‘three Rs’ from an early age.

The real story behind female breadwinners?

ON the surface at least, new research that shows nearly half of all mothers in Yorkshire are the main breadwinner in their household seems to be a sign of female empowerment.

But there must be a concern that it’s simply a statistical quirk caused by the fact that men who have traditionally filled the role are losing their jobs.

Then there’s the fact that others research suggests women are still being paid less than men.

While few would begrudge women taking on more active roles when it comes to household income, Mark Twain’s adage about “lies, damned lies and statistics” springs to mind.

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