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Home > Culture and Society

The Three Rs – Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

26 August 2005

Hot on the heels of last week’s exciting, controversial, record-breaking A-Level results came this week’s controversial, exciting, record-breaking GCSE results. There’s been the same 97 percent overall pass rate, same zooming increase, same shots of shrieking happy teens, same grumbles and groans – the only way to tell the difference between the two is to count the pubes. The figures, obviously, prove beyond all doubt once again that Kids These Days (KTDs) have merely to deign to place their chewed gum in a wastebasket to gain a gold-leaf certificate of Excellence In Everything.

In order to wring some measure of amusement out of this most screamingly tedious and perennial of non-stories, we yawningly bring you the TFT Hite (Havin’ It Too Easy) Report.


1) With a 0.2 percent rise in the number of pupils achieving overall passes, lots of commentators get very excited until they realise that 0.2 percent isn’t that much, really. They then proceed to bemoan the enormity of the educational calamity regardless, making even the most naturally gifted doubt their ability.

2) Despite the super-duper results, standards are reported to still be slipping in basic English and Maths. Or should that ‘be still slipping’? ‘Slipping be still’?

3) The most recent crop of gangly school-leavers take the blame for a lack of investment in education, but it’s OK because most of them can’t read the papers well enough to digest it. (‘Good enough’? ‘Sufficiently fairly’?) Besides this, it is never acknowledged that there are plenty of dull-minded ignorami who left school many, many years ago, and didn’t even have the skill of being able to condense whole conversations into vowel-free text code. (‘Specially-vowelled’?)

4) Faced with overwhelming numbers of substandard applications, employers simply bow to what is becoming convention and accept the least bad rather than the best. Anyone who succeeds in not pushing a door marked ‘PULL’ on the way into the interview room has a good chance. Anyone who got decent GCSEs and knows the difference between ‘pi’ and ‘pasty’ weeps into their JSA form.

5) Blah blah failing system blah blah blah. Single diploma, sliding scale, bugger all actual difference, blah.

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