CLIVE SMITH: There’s a reason for school’s so-called high expectations

Picture: Shutterstock
Picture: Shutterstock
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St Olave’s Grammar School in Orpington has caused a stir after some of its pupils were not allowed to continue their studies into Year 13 because they never gained the required grades to progress.

Sixth form rules at St Olave’s are that Year 12 students need to score three Bs or above to move on to the next year.

So, it’s a selective school that requires students to maintain a high level of academic achievement and if the student cannot maintain the required level they can’t take the following year. Seems fair enough to me.

If they can’t do it, I’m sure they’ll be someone else who can. Yes, it sounds harsh but that’s the way it is.

Parents know this when they enroll their children in these type of establishments – they were more than happy when their children passed the tests in Year 7, but now Tarquin isn’t quite as bright as they first thought, and toys are getting thrown out of the pram.

I read somewhere that there were complaints that there wasn’t any ‘counselling offered’ to the students who were rejected. Really? People need counselling now because they don’t get on to a course they wanted? Just wait until they see what the real world has to offer.

I had to do three years at college because I messed up the first year. I didn’t start a big drama about it and need sessions on a black couch, looking at drawings of butterflies that might actually be something else.

But hey, maybe that’s why the country is so messed up now – all those kids from the ’90s whose Tamagotchis died never got the help they really needed. I’m going to have to book my kids in because I haven’t replaced the batteries in the dead Furby.

Most courses in further education will require you to have reached some certain criteria to enable you to take a course. If you don’t reach this, then you’re deemed to not be of standard and able to cope with the harder work of the next year.

They can’t just let anyone take any old course – you would be setting students up to fail, they would be kids needing even more counselling and teachers having more strike days... conveniently near Christmas, of course.


The recent bank holiday weekend certainly went off!

There was the long-awaited Mayweather v McGregor fight in Las Vegas, although this event was overshadowed by an altogether different kind of boxing which saw people lumping the hell out of each other in their quest to get their hands on cheap prosecco in Lidl.

I’m sure that the black eyes and hour-long queues were definitely worth the £2 discount Lidl was offering...

It sounds like the handiwork of the same Jeremy Kyle trash seen rolling around the floor of Tesco on Black Friday.

Then I saw a video of two men fighting over a pie while at a football match. How hungry have you actually got to be to have a fight over a pie?


Kim Jong-un is really ramping things up over in North Korea where he’s supposedly considering taking on America with some old Second World War biplanes, as they move so slowly modern radar won’t be able to pick them up.

I’m no military analyst, but I’m not sure if this cunning plan will actually work. It’s certainly not going to have Trump and co running to the nearest nuclear bunker..

Portsmouth will be fine – we’ll just stoke up the cannon on Portsdown Hill. South Korea might as well put together a Dad’s Army.

The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to North Korea. The missus will be disappointed – the romantic weekend we had planned to Pyongyang has been cancelled.