A SECONDARY school has been slammed for asking it’s students to wear their target exam grades around their necks, agencies report. A-Level students from Sharnbrook Upper School, near Bedford, have been handed the lanyards displaying the grades “to make them aware” of what they should be aiming for.
The tags bear their expected grades, which are based on their GCSE results, alongside their name and photograph. However, the school has been criticised, with many lambasting the scheme as “alienating” and “stressful”- with some teachers even referring to the idea as “the noose”.
They say the accessories add “unnecessary pressure” to what is already a stressful time for pupils. One student, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “When we first got them, people were not happy. Many of us were crossing out the grades.
“It makes people who are less academic feel alienated and with exams coming it just adds to the stress. “We were told it was needed so that all students know their targets in case an Ofsted inspector asks us, which the school feels is something which we should all know.
“It feels like the school is valuing grades over the individual.” The school claims that the lanyards were introduced to help with identification of non-uniform pupils.
Sixth form students have been informed that displaying their target grades is optional – but have asked them to “make sure you’ve got them with you”. An email sent to all sixth form students and staff in January of this year from operational director Lisa Rattu said: “Wearing a lanyard and ID gives us a better chance of challenging anyone who comes onto the site who shouldn’t be here”.
It added “make sure you’ve got them with you (you could take a photo of them to keep on your mobile, put them in your diary, have them in your lanyard badge but turned around etc.)”
Another student, who didn’t want to be named, said: “Your targets may not be on display for the world to see, as you can hide them away, but this means they are still with you at all times.”
However, some students said that they felt there was an “expectation” to keep their grades on show – so the majority of sixth formers do. An Ofsted spokesman said: “It is for schools to decide how they go about raising standards for all their pupils.
“However, we are clear that the focus should be on improving outcomes for children, rather than planning for their next inspection.” A spokeswoman for the National Union of Students said they were unaware of the scheme and “had not heard of anything like this before.”