Leading article: Snow joke

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The Independent Online

Put yourself in the shoes of the poor exam student. Your Christmas break has been dominated by a sense of foreboding about those New Year GCSE and A-level modules. And then, like manna from heaven for the Israelites, the snow descends. And stays. The roads are blocked, which means school is out, which means the dreaded exams will need to be postponed. It's a late Christmas miracle!

But then: disaster. Suddenly the gritters appear on the horizon (after days of reports that stores were running out). The roads are cleared, the schools are reopened by determined head teachers and, horror of horrors, the exams are suddenly back on again. Surely this constitutes some sort of cruel and unusual punishment for the poor examinees.

For those that end up doing well, despite this chaos, some sort of special recognition is warranted. Perhaps, instead of an A star, an A snowflake?