View from the town hall: Remain proud, whatever your exam results

Current Newham mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, was elected in 2018.

Current Newham mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, was elected in 2018. - Credit: Andrew Baker

This week and next, many young people across the borough will be nervously waiting for their grades in A-levels, GCSEs and BTECs.

I remember the horrible tension of results days and the feelings my friends and I had when we did or didn’t quite make the grades hoped for.

Emotions will be high – and whether young people achieve their best, or not, it’s important to remember that life offers new chances and possibilities to a brighter future.

I went to primary school, secondary school and college in Newham. My grades at first weren’t the best, and my first job was at McDonald’s in East Ham, but here I am as your mayor.

If I can do that, any young person in Newham can do great things.

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It has been a difficult year for teachers, lecturers, pupils and parents, who have had to cope with the disruption caused by Covid-19.

For young people preparing for exams, it was particularly difficult, knowing that the opportunity to show what they can do, was denied to them.

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This year grades are being determined using a combination of teachers’ assessments and reports, alongside comparisons with individual school results and national averages of results in England from the previous three years.

There have been concerns about this approach, because exam results are largely being set by a computer algorithm based on their school’s prior attainment.

We will be watching the situation closely and supporting pupils and our schools who feel they have been disadvantaged by the grading system.

Our education and youth empowerment services teams are putting in place advice and guidance, if any pupil feels things have not gone the way they had hoped.

Achievement is not just about getting a string of As, which is fantastic, – it’s also about working hard to gain qualifications when faced with adversity. My message to everyone is to remain proud whatever the outcome.

Don’t despair if you don’t quite make the grades you hoped for. You are a talented and determined bunch. There are always more ways and chances to do well in all aspects of life.

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