My son is 15


My son is 15, and his exams have been cancelled because of the pandemic. These were important exams – the results will determine whether or not he gets into the sixth-form college he wants to go to. Now that there are no exams, the UK government has said that teachers must award students the grades they think they would have got if the exams had gone ahead. The teachers at my son’s school are giving the students the chance to do extra work this term, before the grades have to be ‘chosen’, in order to give them the chance to earn better grades. So, all the students are doing that – and I have been helping my son a lot with his work before submits it – I’ve been looking at his work and saying things like ‘Here is how you could make that even better…’ and I’ve been working with him to make sure he understands what he could do to make his work stronger before handing it in. As a result…he is handing in extremely good quality work! Now, I am totally happy with this – partly because I believe all parents are doing it and partly because it feels like genuine teaching to me – if I make him understand how to improve his work and he then does so…then he’s learned something! But, there is a niggle in the back of my mind that says, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ If I didn’t offer all these helpful pointers, he would for sure get less good grades. There is another issue: my strong thought (which I have chosen to keep!) is that the school is not great and has never given the students the good teaching they deserve. So to me this feels like a great opportunity to actually give him a proper education! I would love to hear your thoughts!