Reader letter: ‘No excuse’ for fall in GCSE results

Students sit their exams
Students sit their exams

Provisional GCSE results for 2013/14 have offered the first realistic measurement of the performance of the Labour administration at County Hall after a full academic year in power.

They reveal that Nottinghamshire has dropped from 21st to 77th place in the national league table of 151 local authorities for the number of pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades at GCSE.

It is true that GCSE results have fallen across the country this year as a consequence of Government efforts to strengthen the exam, but the tougher regime applies to all pupils in all schools in all local authority areas.

It does not explain the fact that Nottinghamshire has fallen 56 places down the local authority league table. This decline ends four years of continuous improvement under the previous Conservative administration.

It suggests that education in Nottinghamshire is reverting to the bad old days when Labour councillors excused the failure of their education policies on the grounds that the county suffered “high deprivation”. As recently as 2006/07, after 25 years of Labour control, Nottinghamshire was placed a lowly 118th in the same league table.

The facts speak for themselves. There are no excuses. Conservatives proved in just four years that pupils, teachers and schools in this county can achieve vast improvement if they are set ambitious targets.

The only reason Nottinghamshire’s huge drop in performance this year has not attracted more criticism is because Nottingham City’s GCSE results grabbed the headlines as the third worst in the country, and it is no surprise which party is in control there!

-Councillor Philip Owen

Conservative Spokesman on Children & Young People’s Services

Nottinghamshire County Council