Socialist Worker

A-level students get good grades but can't afford to study

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2317

For one year the right wingers couldn’t claim that exams are getting easier. Top results for A-levels fell for the first time in 21 years. But the pressures facing young people are far from letting up.

At Tower Hamlets College, east London, student Saira told Socialist Worker, “You’re told that your whole future rests on these exams. There's a lot of pressure. I found it really hard to decide—go to university or not? I decided to take the debt but it will be hanging over me for a long time.”

Other students decided they could not face the prospect of up to £9,000 a year tuition fees. “I just couldn’t afford it. My family can’t help”, said Ahmed.

“I got good grades, BBB, and could have gone. But the cost stopped it seeming like an option. Now I’ve got to find a job. Wish me luck!”

During the first three months of 2012, around 183,000 people aged 16 to 18 in England were classed as “Neets”—not in employment, education or training.

Figure it out

  • Tory education minister Michael Gove says he approved the sell-off of 21 school playing fields

  • He actually approved the sell-off of 31 playing fields

  • Some 86 percent of applications since 2010 to sell off playing fields have been made by Tory councils

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Article information

Tue 21 Aug 2012, 18:12 BST
Issue No. 2317
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