Teenagers across Shropshire were facing one of the biggest days of their lives today as they returned to school to pick up their GCSE results.
We celebrate the achievements of those who scored highly, though have sympathy for others were were marginally less fortunate.
In 2012, GCSEs were harder to obtain than ever as examiners marked papers more harshly than in recent years.
The class of 2012 can consider themselves unfortunate that they will have paid the price for the politicisation of exam results.
Tony Blair famously said his top three priorities were education, education and education. But the sea change that he oversaw in exam results – with grades spiralling higher and higher each year – made a mockery of that claim.
Record breaking exam results were recorded year after year during Blair’s tenure; an absurdity that today’s youngsters are now paying for.
Our chill-axing Prime Minister David Cameron needs to do more for youngsters than Blair ever did.
Today’s youngsters face prospects as bleak as those endured by teens who left school during the recession of the 1980s. The figures for youth unemployment make for uncomfortable reading, the gap between house prices and wages is higher than ever, the economy has become stagnant and competition for jobs has never been so fierce.
Those factors, coupled with the introduction of tuition fees of around £27,000 for a typical three-year degree, mean youngsters have their work cut out to get a start in life.
There are no easy roads to success or prosperity; teens must work harder than ever simply to make ends meet.
It is unfortunate that today’s youngsters will be unable to celebrate with the same intensity as others who enjoyed falsely-inflated marks during Blair’s misguided golden years for grades.
The responsibility for giving them a start in their adult lives rests with Prime Minister Cameron. He must make sure youngsters have the tools to cope with testing markets for jobs and housing – or we face losing a generation.
Our teens do not deserve a life of social inequality and it is up to the Government to create jobs, incentivise work and give them the best start in life.