Girl is told 13 GCSEs are not good enough for her school's sixth form

 

A schoolgirl who has just secured 13 GCSE passes at grades A to C has been told she is not talented enough to take A-levels at her school's sixth form.

A schoolgirl who has just secured 13 GCSE passes at grades A to C has been told she is not talented enough to take A-levels at her school's sixth form.

Amy Dale achieved an A in GCSE technology at Emmanuel College in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear but has still been refused a place at the school's A-level class in the subject. Her borderline B in chemistry was also considered inadequate.

Amy, who also achieved an A in English literature, eight Bs and three Cs, helped Emmanuel secure a 99 per cent A-to-C pass rate at GCSE last week. In all, 185 pupils achieved five or more A to C grades.

The college's head, Nigel McQuoid, admitted that Amy's rejection was a consequence of the common currency of GCSE A grades, which in some subjects no longer demonstrated A-level potential.

In Amy's case, he said, it would be "a cruel thing to raise confidence when the ability is not there". Her technology A grade was not what it seemed as the leap to A-level was "enormous". "Sixty per cent [of the GCSE mark] is on a piece of coursework. If you produce a good piece of work for that you are really flying. The A-level course demands high competence in electronics."

Mr McQuoid said the school had been "a victim of its own success" but denied school league table performance dictated his admissions policy.

The non-denominational college, which has a strong Christian basis and an emphasis on firm discipline, was founded only 10 years ago but is now one of the North East's strongest non-selective schools. Its A-to-C pass rate had risen from an initial 75 per cent to 90 per cent last year before this year's record performance. "[We] get GCSE results which our pupils would not get elsewhere," Mr McQuoid said. "In Amy, we had a girl who did well in terms of her potential. When we considered the A-levels she wanted to do it was about more than the cold, raw figures."

Amy, who was advised by the college to consider a GNVQ course, said she had been in tears since getting her results. "I was told almost immediately that [they] were not good enough to do the A-levels I wanted to do. I felt as though all the effort was worthless."

She has subsequently approached nearby Wickham Comprehensive, where she will sit A-levels in maths and statistics, English literature, technology and general studies.

Her mother, Alison Cawthorn, an optician's practice manager, said: "Emmanuel College claims to be a mixed ability state school, but it is obvious the school is more interested in national league tables than in helping pupils.

"My other daughter, Nichola, is 14 and at the same school. She is about to start her GCSEs and she is now left wondering if the effort she saw her sister make is worth it."

Peter Maughan, a Whickham parent governor and Gateshead borough councillor, said: "To refuse students the chance to study A-levels after they passed 13 GCSEs at the sort of grades Amy achievedis outrageous."

In Education News:

Clever children 'likelier to take drugs'

Mystery of food used in school meals

Salford University's digital campus: 'This is not a place you come to read books'

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
people
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Infrastructure Engineer

£28000 - £34000 per annum + excellent bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: In...

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: PSHE Teacher required in Devon - Star...

SEN PPA Cover Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Teacher Jobs in Devon Devon

BSL Level 2 or above - Behaviour Support Assistant

£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are looking for Teaching ...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor