Ever since politicians saw education as a fertile battleground the pupils and teachers have been cast in the role of pawns in political point-scoring games.
Against this backdrop, it is essential that when it comes to exams the youngsters are treated fairly with commonality in the way their achievements are judged.
The fact that over 45,000 students are to resit their English GCSEs next month is an indication that the politicians have been moving the goalposts in the background to such an extent that the system has fallen into disrepute.
They talk about postcode lotteries. To that, we can now add timescale lotteries. It is claimed that thousands of students who sat their English exam in June and got a D grade had achieved the same level of work as their fellow students who took the exams in January and received a C.
Consequently they have been unfairly punished based on when they took the exam, not for their work.
In England, they have had a double hit compared to their Welsh counterparts. In Wales the education minister ordered a regrading of the papers, and as a result nearly 2,400 Welsh pupils received better results.
It is easy for the older generation to forget the stress and anxiety that exams involve. Futures depend on them, and employers in that tough jobs market out there look to them to give an indication of the job candidates’ capabilities and knowledge.
Michael Gove is talking about shaking up the exams system. It will, he pledges, be all about raising standards.
Hooray to that. But if there are to be changes, one of the most refreshing would be to allow pupils, teachers, and exam boards to get on with it with the minimum of meddling, interference, and pressure which has played such a part in the current shambles.