Norwich School’s head speaks out over concern of “pace of change” in public exam system

The Earl of Leicester, right, with head of school Rebecca Cadman and headmaster Steffan Griffiths at

The Earl of Leicester, right, with head of school Rebecca Cadman and headmaster Steffan Griffiths at Norwich School speech day. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

The head master of Norwich School told of his concern about the 'extent and pace of change' in the public exam system at the school's speech day at the weekend.

Members of the school community gathered in the historic city landmark on Saturday afternoon for the event where head master Steffan Griffiths spoke of his concern about the changes with simultaneous alterations planned for first teaching of A Level and GCSE in 2015.

He said 'valid' concerns from within the profession, from Ofqual and higher education do not seem to be given sufficient weight but added Norwich School would continue to exercise its independence to ensure appropriate provision for its pupils.

He said: 'In criticising the current direction of travel, I do not seek to be party political; indeed, I only need to mention Labour's ill-fated 14-19 diploma to even things up. In fact, I think Michael Gove's determination to set about improving standards in the state sector is laudable.'

He added: 'My frustration is with the timetable for change and the lack of flexibility in imposing it.'

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And of the Norwich School itself, Mr Griffiths said: 'Norwich School benefits significantly from its genuine independence. Both academically and in other areas of school life, we choose provision which is appropriate for our pupils. We will continue to move with the times to ensure that the education we provide is relevant for the 21st century world in which our pupils are growing up and will work, but we do so in the context of a stability and resilience borne of our long and proud history. I fear that will make us a haven in a storm over the coming months and years'.

The Earl of Leicester, direct descendent of Sir Edward Coke, one of the school's most notable old boys from the 1500s, is principal guest at the speech day.

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In a guest speech he spoke fondly of the 'magnificent surroundings' the Norwich School community find themselves in and said if not now, then later in life, they will realise how fortunate they were to be 'inspired by the majesty' of the cathedral building.

He told the school community they had enjoued an 'exceptional education, an education that two thirds of young people in the rest of world would give their eye teeth for' and urged them to give themselves time to 'find a fulfilling and rewarding job'.

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