James O'Brien Says This Is One Of The Finest Calls He Has Ever Had
12 June 2018, 12:53 | Updated: 12 June 2018, 13:00
James O'Brien believes that a teenager who just completed a GCSE exam gave the "best analysis" of the education system he's heard in a decade.
A teenager who called James O'Brien after finishing an exam was one of James' "finest callers" of all time.
Nick, who is currently sitting his GCSE's, said gave a brilliant analysis of the education system and how GCSE's compare with the predecessor O Levels.
"I can completely sympathise with the extreme stress students suffer," he said.
"And this is intrinsic to Michael Gove's 2014 reform which has made the GCSE's at the moment crippling hard.
"The 2017 pass mark for a maths GCSE exam was 17%."
"Shut up!" James replied.
Nick continued: "All he's done is wasted tax payer's money in order to reform GCSEs, and once he's done that deflated the grade boundaries.
"He's between a rock and a hard place: he can't inflate the grade boundaries because you'd have more students retaking their math GCSE, but if he deflates them he gets criticised for having ridiculously low grade boundaries.
"So why not keep the old system in place?"
James was gobsmacked: "I'm reluctant to speak, you're amazing."
"That's the best analysis I've heard in 10 years," he said.
But Nick had more to say.
He said: "When you sat your O Levels, you would have about 8 or 9 O Levels.
"Now students are sitting 10 or 11 GCSEs at the same difficulty.
"The problem is you have content just as hard but even more subjects going on."
James asked: "How many papers will you ave sat by the end of this summer?"
The teenager revealed that he will have taken 23 exams, but stunned James by saying that his friend will have sat an additional seven.
"I've had exams every day since the 15th May, albeit a gap of a week during half term," Nick said.
"I think this a testament to Michael Gove's judgement, and if he does what he's done to the education system to the environment, god help us all."
At the end of the call, James described the call as "quite a moment".
He said: "It's lads like that who give me hope.
"Look at the mess that we're handing onto them as a result of all this ludicrous tribalism and absurdity, and taking offence at people...
"These lads and ladies just cut through and get on with it, no wonder they're all stressed."