Intermediate Exam results due amid widespread complaints about new regulations
The results of the Intermediate Exams are due out in the next few days, and will be the first conducted under the new regulations. Already there are complaints that the new system is not working, and that children who were predicted to do well in the examinations have not been given the marks that would have been expected. Three specific issues are emerging. The English paper appears to have been marked with extraordinary severity, while the science papers range from a marking scheme in Chemistry that was the most punitive many teachers have ever seen to one in Mechanics that has been noted for being overly generous.
Finally, the new rule that pupils must pass four honours subjects plus English to gain an Exhibition (college scholarship) has been condemned. One leading school has lost twelve to fourteen exhibitioners, compared to last year, because of the new rule. There is a fear that the new system will lead to pupils choosing to specialise too early on, and that it is a direct incentive that will reward cramming rather than the acquisition of a good general education.