Letter: GCSE criticism that shakes students' confidence

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The Independent Online
Sir: 'A slap in the face for young people' - the statement by the National Association of Teachers - exactly describes how I feel, having just completed my GCSE exams ('Patten reviews 'too easy' GCSE', 2 September).

I attained pleasing results and, in common with many of my peers, feel very let down by the constant barrage of publicity belittling our achievements. The large amount of time and effort that was put into coursework and revision by both pupils and supportive teachers causes me to query the justification for under-rating these hard-won grades.

Ultimately, pupils are judged on two years' hard work. If these results prove to be of 'limited confidence', surely the error should be looked for within the course and the system. It is, after all, the students who need to feel confident in those who set their standards.

Yours faithfully,

KAREN WILLIAMS

(age 16)

Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

2 September

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