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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 August 2016

Pressure, lies and head games: being a school student in Tory Britain

Lily (left) marching with teachers and junior doctors photo Paul Mattsson

Lily (left) marching with teachers and junior doctors photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Lily Douglas, college student

I'm just going to say it... it is hard being a school student, especially under the Tories. There is a lot of pressure on you to be perfect, to have everything figured out.

In year 9 (when you are 13 or 14) you are expected to choose what kind of path you're going to lead in the future when you make your GCSE options. Then you have to drop everything to study and cram in as much as humanly possible and more, until it becomes a memory test not a knowledge exam. It's not about understanding or developing your talents.

You are not allowed to be a child. Since I can remember I have always had the threat of the next exam - and what it means for my future - plaguing me. 'If you don't do well at exams then you won't get a job, you'll be on zero-hour contracts, you won't be able to leave home.'

And then they change the goalposts! I was never really that good at exams. I always knew I had to put all my effort into my GCSE coursework because that's where I was going to get my grades and I did. Walking into the exam, I knew solidly that I'd got all As in my coursework, so no matter how much I failed in the exam, I should be ok.

Or so I thought. Between me completing (and being given an expected grade for) my coursework and the exam and official grading, the exam board decided to play games with our heads. They brought the grade boundaries up to the extent that even if you had improved in your mark, you got a worse grade than before. The high achievers were no longer high achievers.

Lazy

As a student, a teenager, you are stereotyped by the media as a lazy, loud-mouthed thug who doesn't care and is too immature to make choices for yourself.

But actually we're working very hard and are very concerned about our futures. We have to be. Which is why I think we should have votes at 16. We are generally ignored by politicians or just plain lied to - like when the Liberal Democrats promised to cut university fees and then trebled them instead.

We want to be a full part of holding politicians to account.

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In The Socialist 31 August 2016:


#KeepCorbyn

#KeepCorbyn: For a party that fights for workers

Right's purges and exclusions show we must fight for a party for the 99%

Packed meeting discusses Trotskyism, Corbyn and socialist change

Trade unionists for Corbyn rally in Cardiff


Education fightback

Education: fightback needed

Pressure, lies and head games: being a school student in Tory Britain

Join the student fightback to end education cuts and austerity


No NHS cuts or closures

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Grantham protest against night-time closure of A&E


Socialist Party news and analysis

Invest in grassroots sports needs

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Scot schools scandal

Smith v refugees

What We Saw

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International socialist news and analysis

France: Burkini ban fuels division

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Socialist Party workplace news

UberEats: Angry delivery drivers protest over pay

Solid bus strike for better terms and pay

Southern strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Why you should join the Socialist Party today

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Ken Loach and a Socialist seller join Sisters Uncut protest


Socialist Party Summer Camp

Sunshine and socialism at Socialist Party summer camp


Comment

Can Britain have a pay rise?


 

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