YEP Says, August 22: Tougher exams can put youngsters on right path to success

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...and all-Yorkshire Challenge Cup final has makings of a classic

IT’S hard to know where we stand as a broader picture of this year’s GCSE results starts to emerge.

The proportion of grades being awarded at C and above has risen for the first time in three years, but the overall pass rate has fallen for the second year running.

Perhaps the latter is a more concrete sign that the conscious move to make the exams more challenging and marking more rigorous is kicking in.

On the plus side, this is likely to encourage greater effort at school from those students who will now need to do more to achieve their expected A grade.

On the down side, it means a bigger gap in attainment between pupils with the implication of greater inequality in terms of future opportunity.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. More rigour in GCSEs means really testing pupils and discovering where their true strengths lie.

It will show that while some pupils will benefit from going on to A-levels with a view to gaining a place at university, others would be far better served by going down another route that prepares them for a rewarding career.

More challenging GCSEs will make this distinction clearer and give youngsters a better idea of the path that will serve them best.

Then it is up to schools, careers advice services and the Government itself to ensure that opportunities are available to them and they are aware of them.

All-Yorkshire final has makings of a classic

HAVING waved off their Wembley-bound heroes yesterday, Leeds and Castleford fans will now be plotting their own trips to the capital for tomorrow’s Challenge Cup Final.

The all-West Yorkshire affair has the makings of a classic. The Rhinos are desperate to break their Wembley hoodoo which has seen them lose six finals on the bounce.

For the Tigers, making it to the final is a massive achievement and they’re licking their lips at the thought of getting one over their local rivals.

Whatever the result tomorrow, let’s hope the best team wins and that it’s a great advert for rugby league.

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