Executive principal congratulates A-level students at Bishop Laney who ‘blazed a trail for the growth we are now seeing’

Ely College executive principal Richard Spencer. Never one to hold back his thoughts on Twitter. Thi

Ely College executive principal Richard Spencer. Never one to hold back his thoughts on Twitter. This from a month ago; "English teachers - dont be distracted from the most salient issue. The GCSE reforms have led to a significant drop in progression to A level as a result of a dreary curriculum, arrid assessment modes and a high-stakes intervention culture that encourages tedious gaming." Picture: ARCHANT/FILE - Credit: Archant

Executive principal Richard Spencer said he was “immensely proud” of Bishop Laney Sixth Form, Ely, A-level students who received their results on Thursday.

“Congratulations to all students receiving results today,” he posted on Twitter.

“We are immensely proud of your achievements. Our first few A level entries receive their results, alongside our extended diplomas.

“Your year have blazed a trail for the growth we are now seeing. Thank you.”

Adam Steels, head of Bishop Laney Sixth Form, said his students “have achieved exceptional post-16 results again this year, despite difficult challenges posed by Covid-19”.

He noted as a “particular student success” Maya Constable, who achieved one distinction and two distinction* grades in applied science.

Maya had served two terms on the sixth form’s student council, most recently as chair.

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She is now to take up a place at university in Nottingham to study biochemistry.

Mr Steels also singled out for special mention William Ashdown who studied sport and exercise science and accounting.

“He has already started his accounting career in his first post,” said Mr Steels. “William achieved one distinction and two distinction* grades.”

Mr Steels said: “We are delighted to congratulate William, Maya and all our students who have received results today, which are the result of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.

“At Bishop Laney Sixth Form every student is known, valued and supported; giving them the best opportunity to succeed in their chosen next steps, be that higher education, apprenticeships or employment.”

Mr Spencer, in a series of tweets, was sceptical of the marking procedures for this year’s students.

“Hard work will always be rewarded unless you attend a school with historically low achievement, are ranked low in large cohort, or otherwise fall foul of an algorithm that most rewards small independent schools.

“Your teachers won’t be trusted because they are enemies of promise.”

In another tweet he wrote: “What we are seeing is system-think rather than advocacy on behalf of our young people. “Trying to force comparable outcomes in an incomparable situation is not just impossible to achieve fairly, it is the morally incorrect starting point.”

He also wrote that “the 2012 GCSE English fiasco was the precursor to this mess.

“The DfE and OFQUAL proved then that they were prepared to sacrifice fairness to young people to protect the principle of comparable outcomes. Relaxed about young people paying price for their administrative ineptitude.”