In less than two weeks, 250,000 18-year-olds in England will turn up at school for one last time to collect a piece of paper on which three letters of the alphabet will be printed. These grades will sum up their academic achievement so far, will affect the rest of their education — and possibly the rest of their lives. Twenty-five of them will be students of mine.
I don’t know how they’ll feel on the day, but I am full of doubt. Since last September I have done my best to teach them monopolistic competition, the Laffer curve and the rest of A-level economics. But have I given them the support they need in any broader sense?
Across the country, these teenagers are probably the most fragile, inadequately prepared and unhappy group of Year 13 students ever to collect A-level results.