Ulster Unionist MLA, Danny Kinahan, has congratulated Northern Ireland’s pupils on attaining record GCSE results, not only improving on last year but also for increasing the proportion of A*-C to 75.6%, whilst the national UK average slipped to 68.4%
Mr Kinahan, who is the Vice-Chairman of the Stormont Education Committee, said:
“I congratulate all those who have passed their GCSEs today and who have been rewarded for all their hard work, and I sympathise with those whose results were not perhaps as good as they would have liked.
However, I would caution against putting too great a focus on exam results as a measure of pupils abilities and aptitudes.
I cannot help but feel that we currently operate a rather narrow definition of success in school in that we focus almost entirely on academic success. We must be careful not to overvalue academic achievement to the detriment of all the other abilities such as vocational and sporting.
We need an education system that helps every student utilise their skills and identify their place in the world. Educational attainment is indeed important, but we must also seek to promote leadership skills, individual character and ensure that pupils leave school with a well -rounded education.
Our education system should be preparing every pupil for working in what is a highly globalised market and not just those who achieve academically.”