How can assholes like Michael Gove be allowed to call themselves members of parliament? How dare such pieces of scum undo a quarter of a century of progress in education, turning the clock back to a manifestly unfair system biased towards elitism? I am appalled at what this unelected prick is doing: in effectively bringing back the old O-Level, he is effectively restoring class division, turning his back on every shred of evidence on the subject and reinstating a system favouring only the few. Words cannot describe my disgust at this piece of shit’s arrogance.
I sat GCSEs. I began my GCSE English in 97 and finished two years later. That seems a lifetime ago; I don’t think I’ve fully described my school education on here before, and it is probably worth doing so. I am what some call a ‘survivor’ of the special school system, an expression referring to the fact that I managed to leave school with a few half decent qualifications, but now imbued with a savage irony given the rate at which my old classmates seem to be dropping. The special school I went to stands next door to a comprehensive, so a few of the most able students could take classes there. That’s where I took my GCSE English, and where I first discovered that I could excel in something.
Writing is my first love – it always has been. It is the reason why my office is so full of books, and the reason why I keep typing blog entries. I had always written, but it wasn’t until gcse English that I realised that I could be any good at it, for it was then that I started to receive my first proper feedback. Before that stage, when I wrote a piece of work it was either put on the wall or filed away: it may have got the odd tick, but that was it. At GCSE, Mr. Dale took the time to go through my coursework, explaining where I was going wrong and suggesting improvements.
That is the advantage of coursework. It allows candidates to demonstrate their true abilities in much more relaxed, realistic circumstances. Exams are artificial, taken in artificial environments thus producing artificial unrealistic results. We all know that some people are better at taking results than others; for people like myself hey can be tortuous ordeals. My three GCSE English exams lasted six hours each because I had extra time, and left me a physical wreck. I did, however, get an A in them, but the fact is that was only because of the marks I was getting in my coursework. Coursework both boosted my overall mark and gave me the confidence to sit exams.
Looking back, I suppose you could argue that the A I got at GCSE English set in motion a chain of events, beginning something which hasn’t yet quite stopped. I once wrote that my path to university and beyond started with a simple google search, but it occurs to me that I would never have had the confidence to even perform that search had it not been for my A in English. That was my first taste of success, the first time I realised that I was not a failure, and it was only due to the way in which GCSEs were structured that I received the result I did. In short, had I not done GCSE English, I might not be sitting here in south London wondering when my future wife would be ready to go to the pub, but still sitting in the same bedroom I had as a child feeling utterly valueless, wondering how best to end his worthless life.
I could never have passed a course based solely on exam results. What gove is doing, then, is consigning millions of young people, both disabled and not, to a scrapheap. He is saying that if you do not fit his narrow, elitist, essentially baseless criteria, then you are worthless. How can we let such bigots run the country? Why is this unelected fool allowed to ruin so many lives, dashing the hopes of so may children even before their lives have started? Standards might have been falling, and some reform was clearly necessary, but what gove has done in reverting to baseless Tory doctrine is turn the educational clock back a century. I am utterly revolted by the actions of this unelected little git, but I am more concerned about the children whose futures he has ruined. If he had any honour – and what Tory does? – his resignation will be covered in tonight’s news.